Most top chief executives in Britain and Germany regard the possible decision of the British people to leave the European Union as a threat to business, according to a cross-industry survey published online on Monday.
The Bertelsmann Foundation think tank found that 79 per cent of the business leaders surveyed want Britain stay in the EU - although support was higher among German bosses at 83 per cent, compared to 76 per cent of their British counterparts.
Under the scenario put forward by researchers, managers responded to the prospect of Britain leaving the political union but remaining a member of the single market.
Nonetheless, this did not allay their concerns. Thirty-six per cent were worried about the impact of a so-called "Brexit" on profits, 31 per cent said the move could negatively impact investment, and 29 per cent feared a drop in the workforce.
Prime Minister David Cameron has in recent weeks been fighting for reforms to the bloc ahead of an in-out referendum on Britain's place in the EU likely to be set for sometime this year.
Over half of the companies that took part in the study generated an annual turnover of over 500 million euros (559 million dollars).