Retailers take a hit amid an increase in North West profits warnings

Latest report from EY reveals 11 stock market-quoted companies in the North West issued profits warnings in the first quarter of 2018 – with six of them in the retail sector. Tony McDonough reports

EY
Sam Woodward, EY’s restructuring partner for the North West

 

Another sign that retailers are continuing to struggle comes from the latest profits warnings survey from accountancy firm EY.

It latest survey says 11 stock market-quoted companies in the North West issued profits warnings in the first quarter of 2018 – one more than the same period last year with six of them in the retail sector.

The figure was also up from the nine that issued warnings in the final quarter of 2017 with retailers selling food, drugs and household goods bearing the brunt of a tough period for the high street.

Nationally, retail warnings across the UK hit a seven-year high, with 13 profit warnings from almost a fifth (18%) of companies in the FTSE General Retailers sector.

Sam Woodward, EY’s restructuring partner for the North West, said: “Cyclical and structural pressures are once again colliding to reshape the UK’s high street.

“There is still growth at home and especially abroad, however, 2018 is unquestionably a less benign year for many UK companies exposed to the UK consumer economy. As the North West figures show, that has an impact beyond retailers themselves to the goods supply chain.”

The North West had the third highest number of profit warnings in the country, after London (17), and the South East (19). Across the UK, quoted companies issued 73 profit warnings in Q1 2018, two fewer than the same quarter of 2017 and 10% less than the previous quarter.

The FTSE sectors issuing the most profit warnings in Q1 2018 were General Retailers (13), Support Services (10), Software & Computer Services (6), and Travel & Leisure (5).

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