A few businesses find one man's poison is another man's meat

While the austerity measures that are starting to be announced by the Government are being met with dread by most companies, for some the spending cuts are just what the doctor ordered.

Groups that offer so-called business process outsourcing (BPO) – performing tasks cheaper than the Government can do them itself – are said to be looking forward to many of the expected cuts. Sources close to Capita, the FTSE 100 company that specialises in BPO work, say that the group is gearing up to offer its services to both central and local government departments, which have been told by the Treasury to strip budgets.

Outsourcing groups that work on a variety of infrastructure projects are likely to struggle, as programmes such as the Government's Building Schools for the Future are pared back. But the fiscal tightening is not likely to affect groups such as Babcock, which work under vital contracts, including the maintenance of nuclear facilities.

Similarly, Serco, another outsourcing company, which runs vital services such as London's Docklands Light Railway, on Monday penned a deal to build and run a new prison in the capital, another vital service. Contract wins like the prison deal will be vital to companies like Serco, which has lost nearly 10 per cent of its value since the Government began outlining the areas it was preparing to curtail.

Retailers will be hit indirectly by the cuts, as consumers that work in the public sector – and there are a lot of them – lose their jobs or decide to save in case the axe should fall in their direction. The nation's shops will also be at the coalface, dealing with the planned VAT increase.

But for some, the austerity measures are an opportunity to gain market share. Groups that sell food are seen as defensive when the economic squeeze is on, and the evidence points to the discount supermarkets, such as Lidl and Aldi, enjoying increased sales and market share when we hit a recession.

Of course, there is a good chance we will avoid a much feared double-dip downturn, but the discount groups will no doubt be looking forward to cashing in on people's limited spending power.

During the recent economic downturn Aldi enjoyed a 25.7 per cent sales increase in the 12 weeks leading up to Christmas in 2008.

Lidl's sales soared by 11.2 per cent in the same period, and both saw sales increases return to something close to 2 per cent once the recovery began.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high