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News Report Page 2 of 18
Publication Date:-
2023-05-01
 
News reports located on this page = 2.

North West profit warnings nearly double ╝ on ╝

PROFIT warnings issued by UK listed companies in the North West of England in Q1 2023 almost doubled:- '╝ on ╝,' according to EY-Parthenon's latest Profit Warnings report. 9 warnings were issued throughout the Region in the 1st ╝ of the year; the Region's 2nd highest total since Q2 2020; up from 5 in Q4 2022.

However, despite the ╝ on ╝ increase, the Region saw a 40% year on year decrease in warnings, down from the 15 issued in Q1 2022. The FTSE Software and Computer Services sector saw the highest volume of warnings issued in Q1 2023, as pressures on the Region's technology industry intensified; in line with national trends.

Sam Woodward, EY Parthenon UK&I Turnaround and Restructuring Partner in the North West, said:- "After falling back again in Q4 2022, profit warnings from listed companies in the North West increased in the opening months of 2023, with persistent economic headwinds continuing to weigh on businesses in the Region. It's been a challenging period for technology companies in particular, as businesses have cut costs and delayed purchasing decisions, creating uncertainty and volatility around demand. Only London and the South East saw more profit warnings issued in Q1 than the North West, which emphasises the extent to which businesses across the Region are feeling the effects of ongoing economic challenges. Despite the economic outlook improving relative to what it looked like at the start of the year, scenario planning and stress testing will be key for businesses going forward."

National profit warning figures...

UK listed companies issued 75 profit warnings between:- January and March 2023, the highest 1st ╝ total since the early stages of the Pandemic in 2020,

EY Parthenon's latest Profit Warnings report reveals that the number of warnings issued in the 1st ╝ of 2023 exceeded the 72 issued in Q1 2022 and that ╝ly profit warnings have remained above the 10-year ╝ly average, excluding 2020, for 5 consecutive ╝s. The highest number of Q1 warnings was in 2020, when 305 were issued.

Persistent economic uncertainty has played a significant role in many of these profit warnings. 35% of profit warnings cited delayed, reviewed, or cancelled contracts, up from 21% in the same period in 2022, as customers paused or cut spending amid volatile and unreliable demand.

The report found that since the start of 2022, 98 companies have issued at least 2 profit warnings, while a significant cohort of UK companies have faced particularly challenging conditions after entering the 3 warning:- 'danger zone.' Of the 31 companies that have issued 3 warnings since the start of 2022, 29% have since delisted or are in the process of being sold. This marks a greater-than-average market dropout rate, as typically just 1 in 5 companies delist within a year of their third warning, most due to insolvency.

Technology and Telecoms warnings at a 3 year high as sector faces volatility...


22% of Q1 profit warnings were issued by UK listed companies in the technology and telecommunications sectors with warnings almost tripling year on year to 16 in total.

FTSE Software and Computer Services companies issued 9 profit warnings in total, the sector's highest level of warnings since Q2 2020, while warnings from telecoms sectors were the highest since 2018. These sectors have been particularly vulnerable to cost cutting and uncertain demand, with contract issues cited in 69% of technology and telecommunications sector warnings.

Many technology companies have also faced difficulties in accessing capital, as:- increased interest rates, recent turbulence in the global banking markets and other external headwinds create a challenging fundraising environment.

Will Fisher, EY UK Strategy and Transactions TMT Leader, comments:- "Significant disruption and uncertainty, particularly in consumer facing markets, is having a knock-on effect on the TMT sector as businesses revaluate their cost bases and delay purchasing decisions. The result is short-term revenue growth challenges for TMT companies, many of which are also trying to prioritise profitability and cash flow as they face a tighter and more expensive lending environment. To navigate these revenue growth and profitability challenges, TMT companies need to look at how they can manage costs and pricing, reduce supply chain vulnerabilities, focus on talent retention and recruitment, and continue to adapt to their customers' needs; including those on sustainability. Given the uncertain timetable, they may need to take tough decisions about whether they cut costs to protect their funding position, potentially at the expense of their ability to quickly capitalise on the return of revenue growth opportunities."

A reprieve for retail, but challenging times ahead...


Remaining sectors with the most warnings in Q1 2023 were FTSE Retailers (5), FTSE Travel and Leisure, and FTSE Electronic and Electrical Equipment, FTSE Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology, and FTSE Media (all with 4).

The 5 warnings from FTSE Retailers marks a decrease from the 9 issued in both:- Q4 2022 and Q1 2022, representing the sector's lowest ╝ly total since Q4 2020. However, persistent inflation, high interest rates and tightening consumer spending will challenge an already delicate sector.

30% of listed retailers have issued 2 or more profit warnings since the start of 2022, well above the 8% all sector total. Of the consumer sector companies that moved into the:- '3 warning' danger area since the start of 2022, 30% have gone into administration or have been put up for sale.

 


Solicitor's warning to anyone contesting a will as High Court settles family dispute

A Solicitor has helped feuding family members win an approved judgment case in an unfortunate scenario. Jackson Lees' Contentious Probate team, in Liverpool, helped settle an ongoing family feud over issues with a will.

A 99 year old mother died and left her estate behind to 1 of her sons and her 4 grandchildren. However, she had 4 sons in total; 3 of which were left out of provisions of a revised will.

As a result, when the mother died, 2 of the brothers; the Claimants; applied to set aside their late mothers will, alleging that the Defendants persuaded her to change her will to cut them out before her death.

It was alleged that the Defendants had unduly influenced the 99 year old and told her lies about the Claimants in order to get her to change her will. But when the case went to trial, the Court heard that the Claimants had failed to establish that the Defendants had influenced the late mother.

It was revealed that the Claimants had tried to claim that their Mother:- "did not have capacity" and had a Doctor assess her before her death, whilst trying to appoint themselves as her attorneys. But 3rd parties described the Mother as:- "fiercely independent," and the Doctor ruled that she had:- "full mental capacity."

As a result, the now deceased mother revoked the son's power of attorney and had a very strained relationship with her 2 sons before her death.

In her own words, in the will revision, she said that they had:- "fell out" and she:- "did not want them to inherit from her estate."

The Court referring to leading authorities confirmed the requirements in order to prove undue influence and fraudulent calumny and upheld the validity of the will.

It was heard that the Deceased had actually left the claimants out of her will as she wanted to and was not influenced to change it.

The judgment will now allow the Defendants to administer the estate in accordance with the Deceased's wishes.

Danielle Blaylock, an Associate and Aolicitor at Jackson Lees, said:- "This is an important judgment and a great result for our clients as it confirms they were not involved in the Deceased changing her will and allows her wishes to be carried out. Whilst this case should never have got to trial given the unfounded accusations, it is a great result for our clients and a helpful reminder of the importance of evidence to back up what is being alleged. It also shows the importance of what is required to support an allegation of Undue Influence and Fraudulent Calumny which the Claimants were unable to substantiate. The case is a helpful reminder of the need to seek legal advice as soon as a dispute arises to try and negotiate and avoid lengthy and costly trials."
 

 
      
 
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