Rollercoaster of a year for business

EXPERT Julie Palmer
EXPERT Julie Palmer
Picture: Pierandrea Guarnieri

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IT was a rollercoaster year for businesses in the Portsmouth region, according to latest figures released this week.

While numbers of businesses in distress nationally remains a stagnant high, firms in the region saw successful highs but also crashing lows in 2012.

Insolvency trade body R3 released its latest figures yesterday, and they show some dramatic peaks and troughs.

In particular, the percentage of businesses in the south east region that had to make redundancies increased from five per cent in June to 21 per cent in November.

The percentage of companies seeing a reduction in sales volumes has yo-yoed from 41 per cent in March to 21 per cent in June, jumping back up to 40 per cent in November.

Other distress indicators, such as experiencing decreased profits and regularly using a maximum overdraft facility, were also changeable throughout the year and increased from June to November.

Julie Palmer, of the Portsmouth office of Begbies Traynor insolvency firm, and who is a member of the R3 southern committee, said: ‘It is very interesting to see that while business distress signs nationally have been stagnant, the south east has experienced this rollercoaster.

She added: ‘2012 was a unique year in terms of national celebration and sporting events.

‘This, together with the wet and cold summer appears to have created changeable financial conditions and outlook of those surveyed.’

Around 47 per cent of firms surveyed reported no distress.