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Majority of European family businesses tapping into international markets

Three quarters of European family businesses are operating internationally, and 23% say furthering growth abroad is their top priority over the next two years, according to new research.

This is at odds with a common perception that family businesses tend to be domestically-focussed, said the KPMG report European Family Business Trends.

The report was based on research that included surveys with 125 family businesses and a further 125 high net worth individuals.

In Europe, there are 14 million family businesses that provide over 60 million jobs in the private sector.

The 74% that operate internationally today is up from 60% two years ago.

The research challenged another misconception about family businesses that they are reluctant to tap into outside capital, with many willing to offer equity to the “right investor”.

Forty two per cent of family businesses have received direct investments from high net worth individuals, and 92% of these businesses said the relationship had been positive.

Overall, the survey found European family businesses were optimistic about the outlook ahead, with 75% planning new investments in the year to come.

This comes off the back of the last six months, where 58% have seen an increase in turnover and 46% have taken on new recruits.

“Companies are coming out of the shadows and increasingly advertising 'we are a family business',” says Christophe Bernard, KPMG's global head of family business.

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