LONDON: A majority of UK companies plan to increase their marketing budgets in 2012, a survey of advertisers has revealed.

According to figures from MindMetre, a market research firm, 57.1% of British firms are set to raise expenditure in this area, while 18.6% intend to reduce their budgets.

This represents a shift in sentiment from 2011, when the survey showed that slightly more firms (42% to 41%) intended to decrease, rather than reduce, expenditure.

Within the 2012 results, larger businesses were found to be more likely to raise their budgets than small businesses.

Firms with more than 1,000 employees recorded a net proportion of +46%. This is calculated when the number of businesses forecasting a cut in expenditure is deducted from the number predicting an increase.

Among UK firms with fewer than 250 employees, the net proportion was +36%.

Speaking to Marketing Magazine, Paul Lindsell, managing director at MindMetre, commented: "These results augur well for 2012, which, if marketing budget trends are taken as a forward indicator of overall business sentiment, may herald the beginnings of a true upturn for Britain Ltd."

The Mindmetre results also chimes with Warc's latest Global Marketing Index (GMI) survey, which showed a global improvement in marketers' confidence for February 2012.

While the GMI did not break out data for the UK alone, it found that overall European sentiment grew from 50.4 to 52.0 – where 50 indicates neutral sentiment.

Data sourced from BBC/Marketing Magazine/Warc; additional content by Warc staff