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Business plans to spend more this year

Published by Steve Coleman on February 15, 2012

Financial executives say they plan to put more money into product development this year with an eye on cashing in on the growing middle class in developing countries.

Two-thirds of executives polled in KPMG's annul Consumer CFO Survey say their companies' product development budgets will get a shot in the arm this year.

"The overall goal among respondents is clearly one of growth," says Willy Kruh, KPMG, Global Head of Consumer Markets in a news release. "The strategies companies pursue depends on the maturity of a given market. We're seeing that in emerging markets, product innovation has the most potential as a growth strategy. Most importantly, as many of our respondents have remarked, it's always critical to determine how well an opportunity aligns with a company's core competencies and if there's willingness to wait for the ROI."

Of the 350 financial executives polled for the survey, 34 were from Canada. The study looked at the retail, consumer goods manufacturing and luxury goods sectors.

Respondents say they felt Canada and the US were due for a rebound this year, while Canadian companies needed to work on making their supply chains more efficient. CFOs say they also want to find ways to tap into digital avenues to bring in more business. They also expected "sustainable" practices would become a basic issue around the world over the next few years.

While Canadian and US growth is expected to be slow this year, predictions still say it will be the best place to do business over the next year. China and Brazil ranked second and third, respectively.

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