Brexit and the weak pound are driving an online boom for British exporters

LONDON — British firms have seen a dramatic uptick in international sales since the Brexit vote, according to data from PayPal.

The online payment firm found that small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) — those turning over less than £1 million a year — saw international PayPal sales more than treble after the June referendum, boosted by a weak pound which makes products cheaper for foreign buyers.

Sales from SMEs to foreign buyers rose 10% year-on-year from January to June 2016, then 34% year-on-year from July to December. The amount international shoppers spent with UK SMEs rose 13% per transaction in the six months following the Brexit vote.

Online SMEs were well equipped to navigate the unpredictable market conditions following the EU referendum result, according to PayPal. Mark Brant, managing director at PayPal UK, said: “When the pound dropped and the buying power of international shoppers increased, we expected to see a surge in online exports.

Of course, lower prices played a major part in boosting international sales, but there were many other contributing factors.”

He said that firms which had adapted online stores to make them more appealing to foreign buyers had benefited the most from the export boost.

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