Begbies Traynor Group

Distress rates ‘level off’ for Liverpool City Region firms but dangers lurk ahead for almost 9,000 companies

Date Published: 05/08/2022
  • Negligible decrease in significant distress from Q1 to Q2
  • Reduction of just 103 firms in significant distress during period
  • Begbies Traynor says almost 9,000 firms remain in danger and warns of challenges ahead during second half 2022

New data published today by Begbies Traynor (5th August 2022) indicates a short-term levelling off in distress rates for Liverpool City Region firms as company directors fight hard against the impact of spiralling inflation.

However, experts at Begbies Traynor say that despite the small decrease in the number of firms entering significant financial distress during the past quarter (103), almost 9,000 businesses are on the brink.

The Red Flag Alert data, published by Begbies Traynor, has analysed the health of companies across the region for the last 15 years.

Today, it confirms that 8,893 firms in the Liverpool City Region remain in ‘significant distress’. This is a 13% drop on the same period last year (10,274) which followed a national lockdown.

Biggest falls in levels of significant distress amongst Liverpool-based firms over the past 12 months have been in the Financial Services sector (27% reduction), Industrial Transportation (24%) and Health & Education (19%) as demand in these sectors continue to increase in the postpandemic era.

Real Estate & Property (1,348), Construction (1,305) and Support Services (1,346) were the three sectors that contained the highest volumes of distressed firms from the 22 analysed in Q2 of 2022.

Nationally, more than half a million firms are now in significant financial distress (582,452).

Keith Tully, Partner at Begbies Traynor in Liverpool, said:

“It will be a relief for many businesses to see a levelling off in distress rates in the past quarter but it remains to be seen whether this trend continues and company directors across our region should remain cautious.

“Many businesses have been agile in their response to rising inflation and hopefully will have planned for costs of raw materials in particular to continue rising during the remainder of this year.

“Ambiguity over which tax policies will be enacted in the UK looks set to continue until September when the new Prime Minister will be confirmed but we’ll already be most of the way through the third quarter by that point.

“As well as uncertainty over domestic politics, there’s the international aspect to consider including the situation in Ukraine and the increasing cost of energy as we progress into Autumn and Winter.”

Jason Greenhalgh, Partner at Begbies Traynor, added:

“Smart directors have used the opportunity since the start of the year to look at their banking facilities and debt arrangements and have been proactive in restructuring their debts and operations.

“Labour shortages and supply chain issues may also have an impact on the bottom line for a lot of companies and the working capital and cash availability will need to be monitored closely.

“Given these circumstances, it would be wise for company directors to stay alert during the remainder of the year and act quickly and decisively in the event of a sudden cashflow squeeze or demands from creditors.”

About The Author

Meet the Team

Jason first started at Begbies Traynor in July 1989 as a junior on the old YTS scheme via the Chamber of Commerce in Manchester and progressed through to Senior Administrator over a period of time to 1997.

After a short time away, he rejoined Begbies Traynor and sat the JIEB Insolvency Exams in December 2002 and initially obtained a non-appointment license the following year after which he  continued to progress through the grades to Senior Manager.

In May 2008 Jason was promoted to Insolvency Director, upgraded his insolvency license with the IPA and has taken corporate insolvency appointments since then. In July 2011 Jason was rewarded for his efforts and commitment to Begbies Traynor when he was promoted to Partner.

Throughout his insolvency career, Jason has gained valuable experience at every level and has dealt with a wide range of different insolvency assignments. Since taking appointments in 2008, he has concentrated on the mid range insolvency market and has helped many struggling owner/managers of distressed businesses.

Jason enjoys rugby league and follows his local team the Leigh Centurions. He also enjoys attending live music events and keeping fit.

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