Many firms still in trouble, says KPMG

The high number of companies announcing profit warnings, redundancies and significant restructuring has continued for the second quarter in a row, according to research from accountants KPMG.

A total of 1,287 negative announcements were made in the third quarter after 1,308 in the second quarter. KPMG said that concern remained “high” and that there was “no end in sight” to the warnings.

Gas, oil and power companies were the worst hit as wholesale electricity prices slumped, forcing British Energy to request emergency funding from the Government and TXU to sell its customers and plants to Powergen. The number of negative statements rose by 63pc from March to September.

Philip Davidson, head of KPMG Restructuring, said: “This is an industry that will continue to be in turmoil for some time.” Finance and banking, media, consulting and support services were all casualties and the “depressed stock market has ensured there is very little light at the end of the tunnel”.

Engineering has continued to suffer as manufacturing has moved overseas. Only retailing has been strong.

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