Tech companies most likely to issue profit warnings, according to report

A view of the Ernst and Young offices in More London Riverside, London.

A view of the Ernst and Young offices in More London Riverside, London. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The software and computer services sector has consistently issued the most profit warnings in the East since 1999, a report has revealed.

A new study based on two decades worth of analysis has delved into the 'whos, whats, wheres and whens' of profit warnings in East Anglia.

The report, which has been issued by Ernst and Young Global (EY) found the software and computer services sector issued the most warnings, 40, during the two decades closely followed by electronic and electrical equipment companies which issued 34.

Since 1999, 207 companies in East Anglia have issued profit warnings, 107 were issued between 1999-2008 and 100 in the period 2009-2019.

Nationally companies in the region are the fourth least likely to issue a warning behind Northern Ireland, Wales and the North East.

Stuart Wilkinson, office managing partner at EY in Cambridge, said: "These figures show that over a sustained period East Anglia is a relatively stable region in terms of its economy.

"It is represented by a diverse business landscape, with a rich vein of innovation running throughout.

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"This helps to insulate businesses from the peaks and troughs of economic uncertainty."

Since 1999, EY has recorded more than 6,000 warnings issued by more than 2,000 companies across the UK.

Over the course of the two decades the biggest spikes the numbers of profit warnings issued followed significant global economic shocks.

For example in 2001, a combination of the dot-com crash, 9/11 and a global recession, led to the highest number of UK quoted companies making warnings since 1999.

Analysis of the two decades found January was the most common month for warnings to be issued while Thursday was the most common day of the week.

EY also found that a third consecutive profit warning could be a "bruising or even a knock-out blow" for listed businesses in the East.

And. that by the morning of the third warning, a quarter of CEOs and a fifth of CFOs have left their companies.

Within a month of making a third warning, more than 10% of companies had reported a large reset.