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Begbies Traynor sees big rise in distress

By BFN News | 07:28 AM | Monday 31 July, 2017

New research from Begbies Traynor shows that 329,834 UK companies were experiencing 'significant' financial distress at the end of Q2 2017, a 25% increase from Q2 2016 (263,517 companies)/ The group said this was the largest annual increase since Q2 2014 and was the largest number of corporates experiencing significant distress in at least 5 years. The Red Flag Alert research for Q2 2017, which monitors the financial health of UK companies, showed that SMEs made up the majority of this increase, with 'significant' distress rising 26% to 308,423 businesses, while large companies saw distress rise by just 12% year-on-year to 21,411 businesses at the end of Q2 2017. It said that among the sectors facing the largest increases in 'significant' financial distress, property and construction saw substantial rises of 32% and 22% respectively, with 28,259 real estate businesses (Q2 2016: 21,373) and 40,495 construction companies (Q2 2016: 33,222) finishing the period in a state of 'significant' financial distress, providing further evidence of a slowdown in the UK housing and construction markets. Meanwhile, the research showed that the UK sectors most reliant on consumer spending had been hit particularly hard during the second quarter, with volumes of financial distress increasing year-on-year by 22% among leisure businesses (Q2 2017: 8,206 vs. Q2 2016: 6,700), 17% for general retailers (Q2 2017: 25,598 vs. Q2 2016: 21,939), 17% for automotive companies (Q2 2017: 10,741 vs. Q2 2016: 9,161) and 16% among bars & restaurants (Q2 2017: 13,635 vs. Q2 2016: 11,793). Executive chairman Ric Traynor said: "Our Red Flag research shows that a recent loss of momentum in the economy is putting increased financial pressure on UK businesses, with SMEs bearing the brunt of this rising distress, as businesses contend with uncertainty over Brexit negotiations and an inconclusive election result, alongside rising costs. "These significant increases in financial distress also point to a slowdown in business investment at a time when the overall growth rate of the UK economy remains stubbornly sluggish." Story provided by

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