UK business confidence is at its highest level for over a decade, according to a new report.Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets Business in Britain survey revealed that business confidence rose to +37 – the highest level recorded by the study since June 2004 and double the +19 score registered in December 2005. The net balance of companies reporting higher rather than lower sales over the preceding 12 months increased from 13 per cent at the beginning of the year to 37 per cent by the year end – a high not previously recorded since June 1995.Around 55 per cent of companies said that sales increased in the last six months of 2006, compared to 41 per cent at the beginning of the year. And 49 per cent of firms reported an increase in orders over the second half of the year – just 36 per cent did a 12 months ago."UK firms weathered the difficult trading environment of the last two years by cutting production costs and increasing their efficiency. This has put them in a great position to exploit the improved market conditions," Diana Brightmore-Armour, chief executive of corporate banking and co-head of corporate markets at Lloyds TSB, commented.Referring to the fact that the balance of firms raising their prices, rather than lowering them, stood at 22 per cent, Mrs Brightmore-Armour said that UK companies had taken "full advantage of stronger UK and global growth" in the year past. "We think 2007 will be another good one for UK company profits," she added. © Adfero Ltd