Listed companies in East Anglia issued a total of 10 profit warnings in 2018 – the highest number recorded since 2015 (10) and six more warnings when compared to 2017 (4), according to EY’s latest Profit Warnings Report.
The ten warnings made in 2018 came from FTSE and AIM-listed companies in the following four sectors: Electronic and Electrical Equipment, Health Care Equipment and Services, Software and Computer Services, and Technology Hardware and Equipment.
Across the UK, 2018 saw the second highest level of profit warnings issued by UK plc since 2008, with 287 profit warnings recorded – a rise of 4% year-on-year. The FTSE General Retailers sector across the UK recorded the highest percentage of profit warnings in a decade, with 38% of the retail sector issuing profit warnings in 2018.
Nick Gomer, Managing Partner at EY in the East, comments: “Following events last week, there is further political and economic uncertainty to contend with and no let-up in the pace of change. But rising uncertainty wasn’t the only reason why profit warnings spread in 2018.
“In the retail sector, a combination of a relentless margin squeeze, the continuous need for reinvention and falling consumer confidence made 2018 an exceptionally tough year for the retail sector across the whole of the UK.
“What happens next depends on how much more unpredictable 2019 becomes. Markets adjust quickly to new realities, however, in this fast-moving world companies need to keep moving forward or risk finding themselves on the wrong side of sector trends, potentially triggering a new cycle of profit warnings in years to come.”