But Scottish companies have, overall, trimmed their workforces over the past 12 months, and capital investment growth remains poor.
These are the findings
of a business confidence monitor published today by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and accountancy firm Grant Thornton.
Scottish businesses recorded a confidence score of +32.5 for the current quarter. This is greater than the UK average of +24, and up from +26.7 in the second quarter.
Businesses in Scotland reported steady annual growth across several key financial performance indicators, the ICAEW declared, with turnover, profits and sales volumes up by 4.3%, 3.7% and 3.2% respectively over the 12 months to the current quarter.
It added that, in keeping with increased optimism, companies in Scotland expected turnover, profits and sales volumes to rise by 5.9%, 6.5% and 5.8% respectively over the coming year.
However, Scottish companies reported a 0.5% decline in employee numbers over the past 12 months. And total salaries grew by only 1.4% over the year to the current quarter.
Annual capital spending growth in Scotland has slowed to 1.6% this quarter, according to the survey. This is weaker than the 2.3% growth reported over the year to the third quarter of 2012.
The expectation is for capital investment to increase at a slower pace over the coming year, with businesses predicting only 0.7% growth over the next 12 months.
The ICAEW noted confidence levels in Scotland had been on a general upward trend since the fourth quarter of 2011. It added that Scotland's score had now been in positive territory for six consecutive quarters.