Nearly 140 UK retail firms are in ‘critical condition’, despite Christmas trade providing a temporary lift to sales, according to the
‘UK business solvency survey’
issued by business recovery specialist Begbies Traynor.
The firm said that the number of UK companies in financial distress increased by 35% to 13,700 during Q412. The number includes many retailers, who could struggle to meet their latest quarterly rent payment due this month, and the survey predicts an increase in the number of national and regional retail insolvencies in 2013.
It suggests that the retail sectors most likely to see casualties include those selling books, news and stationery, where the number of companies reporting problems is 85% up on the previous quarter.
“With quarterly rent day landing on 25 December, combined with fierce competition and significant margin pressure throughout the January sales period as consumer tighten their belts after Christmas, we could well see a surge of new insolvency activity during the first quarter of 2013,” said Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor.
“Though the performance of national retailers is well documented, it represents just the tip of the iceberg with thousands of smaller and specialist retailers struggling to stay afloat in today’s austerity Britain.”
A number of well-known UK retail names have been unable to survive the squeeze on consumers’ incomes of the past four years. Casualties have ranged from Woolworths in late 2008 to, more recently, JJB Sports and electricals chain Comet.
Cash-flow based metrics now feature prominently alongside traditional revenue measures of business performance in the key figures or financial summary pages of any public company.
GTNews asks Pugsley about what advice she would give to treasurers dealing with mergers and acquisitions, what the key challenges for her year ahead will be and how she is selecting a treasury management system (TMS).
The US money market fund reforms came into effect in 2016 and are already dramatically shaping US fund industry with investors flooding out of prime funds and into government securities. While the reforms are similar, they are not the same. GTNews interviews Yeng Bulter, global head of the cash business at State Street Global Advisors on the differences.
Tim de Knegt, strategic finance and treasury manager for the Port of Rotterdam, discusses how he is using blockchain, the challenges he will face in his role of treasury over the next 12 months and the advice he would give to someone starting out their career in treasury.