Britain's small and medium sized businesses expect to grow their profits and employee headcount over the next 12 months despite the bleak economic climate, according to a survey by UK's business insurance broker Simply Business.

Despite 73% of those surveyed saying they do not expect the economy to improve in the next 12 months, 62% still said they expect their revenue to increase within this time period.

Expanding their business is the key focus of these companies, with 65% saying that winning new business will be their key priority over the next 12 months.

Six percent named securing funding as their main priority for next year and the same number said reducing costs would be their most important consideration.

In fact, 27% of the business owners Simply Business questioned plan to create new jobs and increase their employee numbers over the next 12 months.

Simply Business CEO Jason Stockwood said that the optimistic picture these SMEs paint is heartening in these tough times. When you consider that SMEs account for 99.9 percent of the total enterprises in the UK and provide over 59 percent of the jobs in the private sector their continued success and growth is key to their economic recovery.