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8167.0 - Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/09/2013   
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19 September 2013
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)
Improved productivity for innovating businesses

Businesses that pursued innovation were more than twice as likely to have improved their productivity than those that didn't, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"Productivity increased for a third of businesses that took steps to innovate during 2011-12," said Andrew Puljic from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, "while only 14 percent of non innovation-active businesses reported any increase in productivity."

"Businesses with innovative activity were also more likely to have reported an increase in the total number of new jobs or positions within the business, along with an increase in business profitability", said Mr Puljic

"Innovation in a business can take a number of different forms - it can be the introduction, development or abandonment of a new or significantly improved product or service, it can be improvements in the way a business manages or runs itself, or it can simply be a better way of marketing its products."

The data released also shows that in the year ended 30 June 2012, 18 percent of all businesses sought debt or equity finance. Of those businesses seeking debt finance, 88 percent reported that it had been obtained. Businesses with innovative activity were twice as likely to seek finance as non innovation-active businesses (24 percent compared with 12 percent). Irrespective of whether they were innovating, the most common reason for seeking finance was to maintain the short term cash flow of the business.

Further information about business performance, activities and arrangements is available in Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2011-12 (cat. no. 8167.0), available for free download at

Media notes:

Innovation-active refers to businesses that have undertaken any innovative activity including any of the four types of innovation (new or significantly improved goods or services, operational processes, organisational/managerial processes, marketing methods) and/or work on the innovation was still in development at the end of the reference period, and/or abandoned during the period.

When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.

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