Mid-sized companies’ CFOs optimistic

The chief financial officers of mid-sized companies in the U.S. are upbeat about 2011, and most plan to hire this year, according to the latest GE Capital survey.

Of the 530 CFOs polled during the first quarter of 2011, 80 percent said they expect to hire within the next 12 months, and 65 percent of them said they had already begun hiring. Those planning on hiring plan to increase their workforce by 6 percent this year, with 80 percent of those positions expected to be permanent. A mid-sized company in the survey is considered on with revenues of $50 million to $1 billion.

“Eighty percent planning on hiring was a pretty bold statement,” Dan Henson, CEO of GE Capital Americas, said in the press release. “This was the most definitive we’ve seen in the three times we’ve done this survey.”

Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of the CFOs said they expected higher revenues year-over-year for 2011, up from 64 percent in GE Capital’s 2010 survey.

Profit margins are expected to stay the same or increase for 82 percent of the CFOs, while 56 percent expect to grow their cost structures.

The one area CFOs remained concerned about is the cost of raw materials. The increase in those costs are a significant concern for exactly three-quarters of dealers, while only 60 percent shared the same sentiment in 2010.

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