We surveyed more than 150 executives in Europe at mid-cap consumer companies—those with less than €3 billion revenues—about their levers for growth. We found that overall they achieve significant growth by using a clear, compelling, company-wide aligned strategy to guide them.
Most of their historic growth is delivered by competitively winning and expanding their core business (around 60 percent). However, geographic and category adjacencies, as well as new businesses, are expected to deliver more than half of future growth (45 percent and 15 percent respectively). Top growers—those with more than 10 percent growth over at least three consecutive years—typically tend to be smaller in size (40 percent have less than €500 million in revenues) and are twice more likely than others to be either founder, venture-capital, or private-equity owned.
We identified that top growers outperform their peers by:
- consistently and explicitly choosing top-line growth and embedding it into their target setting
- prioritizing absolute profit growth over relative margin growth
- ·overemphasizing valuation growth and underemphasizing cash-flow growth compared to their peers
- focusing on solving supply-chain and operational disruptions and constraints that could impact their growth potential
- significantly overemphasizing sales channel and geographic expansion, as well as brand-awareness building, in future growth plans
- relying less on pricing and distribution gains than their peers
The following exhibits are based on survey data collected in Europe in Q2 and Q3 2022.