Canadian Treasurer

August 14, 2012

Mid-sized companies bullish on opportunities in foreign markets: KPMG survey

TORONTO-- Despite ongoing uncertainty in global markets, mid-sized companies in the Americas are determined to grow their overseas presence over the next five years, according to a recent survey of mid-sized businesses conducted by KPMG. Among mid-sized companies that are active abroad, 58 percent plan to expand their global presence; while more than two thirds (68 percent) expect to see increased revenues from foreign operations over the next five years.

"With the value of exports to the U.S. softening and the wavering U.S. market, mid-sized Canadian companies are looking elsewhere for potential growth opportunities," said Dennis Fortnum, Canadian Managing Partner, KPMG Enterprise. "Emerging markets in Asia, South America and the Middle East are appealing because of their low-cost sourcing, high-growth sales and expansion opportunities."

The report, Global Rewards Within Reach, found that:

  • Six out of ten companies surveyed said that their revenues from foreign sources had increased between 2009 and 2011

  • On average, respondents expect that foreign revenue will grow 34 percent over the next five years

  • Foreign partnerships are the preferred route of expansion, with 84 percent of respondents saying that would be their preferred method of expansion

  • Although the U.S. remains a key avenue for growth, more private Canadian companies are choosing to diversify internationally to fuel growth now and not wait for the U.S. economy to rebound.


While Canadian private companies understand the benefits that come with trading close to home, an emerging-market strategy is essential for growth in a global economy. KPMG Enterprise identifies key success factors for Canadian private companies as they establish and expand their global presence:

Employ multiple strategies — activities should be increased across a number of areas to build global presence, including strategic acquisitions, partnerships or joint ventures, and the use of foreign vendors or distributors.

Engage business leadership — a clear, strategic focus at the leadership level is a vital component and strongly correlated to achieving success in global expansion objectives.

Plan ahead to mitigate risks — for many companies, it may be their first time doing business in these countries; understanding the local economy and assessing availability of capital takes more planning and greater due diligence.

Background Information

Global Rewards Within Reach is based on responses from 1,150 senior leaders of mid-sized companies based in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and Mexico that have sold a product or service in a foreign market within the previous year.

The 2012 edition of the KPMG Enterprise report Taking on the World: Canadian private companies look to new horizons to fuel future growth  is based on in-depth interviews of mid-sized companies in Canada ($5 million to $500 million in annual revenue) that represent a range of industries.










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