Scotland business

Scottish tech firms 'optimistic' for future

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Image caption Most companies said they expected to employ more staff in 2017

Scotland's digital technology industry enjoyed "sustained growth" in 2016 and is optimistic for the future, a survey has found.

Researchers said seven out of 10 companies had reported an increase in sales - some by more than 50%.

The Scottish Technology Industry Survey also found that 82% of businesses were predicting sales to increase in 2017.

Predicted employment growth is also on the up, with 78% of firms expecting to employ more people this year.

This compares to 66% of firms that were expecting to hire more staff in 2016.

The digital technologies trade body, ScotlandIS, produced the annual survey.

Brexit concerns

Polly Purvis, chief executive of ScotlandIS, said: "The results of this year's survey show the confidence and resilience of the digital technologies industry which is continuing to grow and maintain its optimistic outlook despite uncertainties in the political environment.

"This is great news not just for our sector, but also for the economy as a whole. The digital technologies industry generates over £5bn in GVA [gross value added] for Scotland every year and is becoming more and more important in our increasingly digital world."

But ScotlandIS said a "skills shortage" remained an issue for many firms. For the first time since 2013, demand for experienced staff outstripped that for graduates.

Ms Purvis added: "Our survey shows that more companies are looking to Scotland to recruit new employees. This is likely to be a sign of Brexit-related concerns and the decreasing attractiveness of the UK for international talent."

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