Latest figures on European business readership

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LONDON -- The number of business decisionmakers in Europe relying on high-tech facilities such as the Internet, e-mail and mobile telephones for their daily business activities is rising, according to the results of the latest European Business Readership Survey, announced September 9.

The 1998 EBRS survey, conducted by international research group IPSOS-RSL and guaranteed by the Financial Times newspaper group, also discovered that more than 75% of those questioned had developed a strategy to counter the "time bomb" expected to annihilate information technology systems in the year 2000.

Around 64% said they used the Internet for their business, compared with 18% in the last survey, carried out in 1996. In addition, 73% said they owned mobile phones - more than double the 33% who said they used them two years ago. This year, 85% used computers in the office, while 64% said they used one at home.

The market with the most technology-savvy executives was Scandinavia, where 90% of respondents used new technology devices in their business. But high-tech gadgets had reached only 60% of those questioned in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Although the frequency of business travel was increasing, the EBRS study disclosed that executives are spending less on air fares. As a result, the number traveling by economy class had increased 23%, while business and first class travel showed a "slight drop".

For the first time, the EBRS study analyzed respondents' business trip destinations. More than 70% whose business focused on Europe traveled to other European destinations for their work. Among those whose work involved North and Latin America, just over 50% said they had actually visited the regions, but only 38% of those with business links to Asia-Pacific had actually visited that region.

The survey was conducted among a sample of 9,180 European business executives, representing Europe's top business management. This compares with a sample of 8,664 in 1996. Around 90% of the total was male, with an average age of 46, and an average personal salary of $117,000.

About 20% of participants said they read The Financial Times, compared with 18% in the 1996 survey. The next most popular daily business publications in 1998 were Germany's Handelsblatt and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, with 14% each.

Copyright September 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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