Tuesday 10 December 2019 4:15 pm

Insolvency firm Begbies Traynor's boss says retail carnage expected to continue

The executive chairman of restructuring and insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor said today that there was no sign of the carnage on the High Street ending as the growth in e-retailing and shaky consumer confidence continued to take their toll.

“Headwinds in terms of consumer demand with uncertainty over what the future will hold and structural changes in retail are still happening,” Ric Traynor said. 

Read more: Chilango eyes restaurant closures as it prepares to launch CVA

Traynor said the woes in the retail sector that have led to companies such as Clinton Cards and Debenhams crash into administration and retailers such as Monsoon and Accessorize agree company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) with their creditors were also hitting the property sector.

“That has had a knock on effect [with] landlords facing forced restructurings in CVAs or voids in their portfolios in because businesses are going bust,” he said.

The restructuring and property adviser today reported revenue growth of 21 per cent to £33.8m and profit before tax growth of 280 per cent to £1.9m for the half-year to 31 October.

It attributed its strong half-year results to “favourable conditions in the UK insolvency market” which it expected to continue.

Read more: Debenhams strengthens board as department store implements rescue plan

Other areas Traynor said the firm was seeing insolvency work included the travel sector, construction, peer-to-peer lending and the legal industry.

In the world of peer-to-peer lenders and mini-bonds Traynor said: “There are lots of players some of which are effective and will be long-term players and many of which have gone into the market place and they are not competent and have wasted the money.”

He also said there was a “significant amount of restructuring work in the legal sector as law firms struggle and the ones that are weak go to the wall”.

The firm’s shares fell 1.1 per cent to 87p today.

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