THE BIG QUESTION – Most FDs think the strong pound has had a negative impact on their business.

The strength of sterling continues to be a thorn in the side of UK industry, according to UK finance directors in this week’s Big Question.

The poll conducted by Accountancy Age and Reed Accountancy Personnel, found FDs almost equally split depending on whether their companies were importers or exporters. Half said the strong pound was damaging business and of that group, 50% said the effect was significant.

Norman Jeffries, FD of freight forwarders A Hartrodt, said: ‘As we are an export business, the strong pound is killing our business.’

Stuart Chapman, of International Baccalaureate, said its hedging policy reduced problems but added: ‘If the strong pound continues for a long period we will have to look at the structure of the company.’

The survey revealed only 37% of respondents had not seen a negative impact on their business. Kevin Tomlinson, at vehicle part manufacturer Signam, said: ‘Our raw materials are imported so the benefits of better buying power has mitigated any reduction in exports.’

Rakesh Gulati, of vehicle rental company Churchfields, said the strong pound is an opportunity to shave indigenous costs. ‘Imported raw materials are already cheaper,’ he said.

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