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Upgrading Britain? The effect of capital expenditure trends on productivity, profitability and competitiveness is an Economist Intelligence Unit report, sponsored by Lombard, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The report reviews the capital expenditure plans of British businesses to gauge spending trends, as well as related challenges and opportunities.
The research draws on several inputs, including:
■ A survey of 392 firms operating in the UK. Firms of all sizes were represented: 25% were relatively small, with revenue under £100m; 42% had revenue of between £100m and £1bn; and 34% were large, with £1bn or more in revenue. All major sectors were represented, with a weighting towards IT & technology (21%); manufacturing (16%); transport and logistics (15%); and financial services (11%). The survey sample was very senior: all respondents were from a management function, with 48% representing the board or C-suite.
■ An analysis of 251 UK-listed companies that had reported 2010 data with regard to cash on their balance sheets, along with wide-ranging desk research.
■ Interviews with 12 executives and experts. We would like to thank the following people for their time and insight (listed alphabetically, by organisation):
■ Meziane Lasfer, professor, Cass Business School
■ Andrew Kakabadse, professor, Cranfield University School of Management
■ Bob Shanks, vice-president and controller, Ford Motor Company
■ Marc Silvester, senior vice-president and global chief technology officer, Fujitsu UK
■ Peter Cole, chief investment officer, Hammerson
■ Andrew Walker, chairman, Metalrax plc
■ Mike Tholen, economics and commercial director, Oil & Gas UK
■ Paul Harrison, group finance director, Sage
■ Andrew Pimblett, managing director, Street Crane Company
■ Colin McLean, founding partner and managing director, SVM Asset Management
■ Richard Dear, business manager, Ultra Electronics (CEMS)
■ Nick Mair, sales and marketing manager, Ultra Electronics (CEMS)
■ Julie Adams, managing partner, Menzies
The author of the report is James Watson and the editor is Monica Woodley. James Gavin and Sarah Fister Gale conducted a few of the interviews for this report.