September profit warnings hit six-year high as targets missed

Oliver Smith
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PROFIT warnings from listed companies spiked to the highest level since the height of the financial crisis in September, despite warnings for the quarter falling by 17 per cent, according to an EY report.

September’s spike of 26 profit warnings, the highest number of warnings in that month since 2008, clouded an otherwise improved outlook for the quarter which reported 56 warnings.

“Overall, the economic outlook is still improving, as the fall in warnings suggests, but expectations have dipped. US fiscal battles, taper concerns and emerging market volatility all provided reminders this summer that we’re long way from any kind of economic, financial or monetary normality and the road back won’t be smooth,” said EY’s head of restructuring for Europe, Middle East and Africa Keith McGregor.

Fortunes remain divided for the year between small companies, which saw profit warnings increase six per cent in the first three quarters of 2013, and the UK’s largest companies, which saw a massive 30 per cent drop in warnings over the same period.

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