Profit warnings the worst since 2001, says E&Y

A faltering economy in 2008 has lead to the largest number of profit warnings
from public companies since 2001, according to Ernst & Young.

The figure of 449 profit warnings issued by UK quoted companies last year was
also 17% higher than for 2007, said the Big Four firm.

Keith McGregor, restructuring partner at Ernst & Young said that while
the 2008 figures were the worst for seven years, ‘with credit markets still
frozen and confidence continuing to deteriorate, the next 12 months look set to
be equally dramatic, if not more so.’

The retail sector has had a particularly tough time in 2008 with a record
breaking annual total of 52 warnings and a number of iconic high street names,
such as Woolworths falling into administration. Also hit particularly hard were
the automobile and household goods sectors, with 60% of companies issuing a

Further reading:

Ernst & Young’s full profit warning report

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