Research reveals the most financially secure sectors in East of England

Frank Brumby, R3 eastern chairman

Frank Brumby, R3 eastern chairman - Credit: Submitted

East of England agricultural businesses are among the most financially secure of their UK regional counterparts, according to new research.

February figures compiled by insolvency and restructuring body R3's Eastern branch, using Bureau Van Dijk's Fame database, show that fewer than one in six – 15.4% – agricultural businesses in the region are at higher than normal risk of insolvency, a figure bettered only by the East Midlands.

In contrast, the news is less positive for the regional tourism sector, which is struggling more than most of its regional peers.

Almost one in three firms – 29.6% – is at higher than normal risk of insolvency, the third highest nationally. Other below-average sectors include technology and IT, retail, hotels, pubs and restaurants.

R3 Eastern chairman Frank Brumby said: 'These statistics demonstrate that we remain in a state of regional economic flux. Where certain sectors are moving towards recovery, there are others which still have significant hurdles to overcome.


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'Positive steps are being made by the government which should go some way to supporting regional recovery. For example, new guidance on late payment reporting for large businesses has just been published and welcomed by R3. We hope it will encourage better practice in making prompt payments to suppliers and safeguard the cash flow of our SMEs.'

Mr Brumby also pointed out that the region's businesses are currently enjoying a significant safety net compared to the pre-financial crisis economy.

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He said: 'Creditors, particularly banks, are much more patient with their borrowers and companies are benefitting from record low borrowing costs. An increased focus by the insolvency and restructuring profession on early intervention has also helped local businesses avoid formal insolvency procedures.

'There still remains, however, a pressing need for business owners to monitor finances carefully and to plan for all eventualities. If cash flow becomes a major challenge, it's imperative to seek professional advice sooner rather than later.'

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