news release

  UK’s micro businesses show greatest resilience as late payment times increase

Businesses in South-West take over half the time to pay, compared to North West counterparts

 

Nottingham, 20 October 2011 — Experian®, the global information services company, today reveals that late payment among UK firms increased by almost a day during the third quarter of the year. UK firms settled bills an average of 26.13 days late in July, August and September, compared to 25.26 days during April to June.

Despite the overall increase, the UK’s smallest firms (1 to 2 employees) still managed to limit the increase in their payment performance to half a day, the smallest increase recorded during the period. 

The largest increase came from the biggest firms (over 501 employees) from 32.79 days late in Q2 to 34.89 days late in Q3. 

Jason Mills, Head of Payment Performance at Experian UK & Ireland, said: “With the average time it takes to settle bills worsening in the last three months, it underlines why it pays to keep a close eye on suppliers’ and customers’ payment performance.  No where is this more evident than in the North West of England, where our analysis shows that businesses are paying suppliers nearly 37 days late, taking 8 days longer than the second worst late paying region.”

Employment

Days beyond terms

Q3 2011

Days beyond terms

Q2 2011

Days beyond terms

Q3 2010

1-2

20.56

20.02

   19.24

3-5

23.01

21.98

   20.49

6-10

22.49

21.52

   19.72

11-25

22.22

21.13

   19.28

26-50

22.59

21.34

   19.65

51-100

23.92

22.70

   20.96

101-500

26.22

24.65

   24.24

501+

34.82

32.79

   34.66

National Average

26.13

25.26

   22.65

Source: Experian

Regional performance

Businesses in the North West, which were already the slowest payers in the country, saw the biggest deterioration in payment performance by over two days from 34.60 days late in Q2 to 36.72 days late in Q3. Experian’s analysis also shows that this region has also experienced increased insolvencies since Q4 2010 and is now the region with the second highest insolvency rate in the UK.

Government Region

Days beyond terms

Q3 2011

Days beyond terms

Q2 2011

Days beyond terms

Q3 2010

Scotland

27.19

26.08

   25.54

North East

24.42

23.56

   24.55

North West

36.72

34.60

   27.18

Yorkshire

26.65

25.23

   24.38

Wales

24.28

24.03

   22.52

West Mids

25.50

25.11

   24.88

East Mids

25.72

25.46

   21.67

Eastern

26.12

25.52

   20.32

South West

18.18

17.82

   16.70

London

28.69

27.81

   26.01

South East

20.83

20.23

   17.83

N Ireland

20.05

19.25

   20.87

Source: Experian

Industry trends

Businesses operating in the extractive, utilities and building/construction industries were the only ones to see small improvements in payment performance during Q3 this year.   

The industries to see the highest increases were the oil, pharmaceuticals, food retailing and leisure/hotels sectors, which all increased by more than two days. 

Industry Sector

Days beyond terms

Q3 2011

Days beyond terms

Q2 2011

Days beyond terms

Q3 2010

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

12.27

12.09

     9.94

Banking and Financial Services

26.77

26.03

   26.93

Breweries

21.49

20.89

   17.16

Building and Construction

22.75

23.11

   20.67

Building Materials

22.21

21.66

   21.45

Business Services

23.54

22.79

   20.54

Chemicals Industry

22.97

22.36

   17.71

Diversified Industrials

25.23

24.30

   20.78

Electricals

20.99

20.99

   16.92

Engineering

20.70

20.35

   17.42

Extractive Industries

23.44

24.10

   23.72

Food Manufacturing

27.12

26.07

   21.63

Food Retailing

34.33

31.68

   30.80

Health and Household

22.33

21.80

   18.64

Hiring and Leasing

27.73

27.50

   23.56

Insurance

19.78

18.31

   19.85

IT

22.74

22.33

   18.37

Leisure and Hotels

35.91

33.25

   30.30

Media

26.41

25.40

   21.86

Motor Traders

20.89

19.76

   17.33

Non-Food Retailing

27.22

25.77

   22.88

Oil

15.64

13.32

   12.97

Other Services

21.10

19.94

   18.74

Pharmaceuticals

21.08

18.73

   16.49

Plastics & Rubber

25.36

24.44

   22.32

Postal and Telecommunications

46.62

46.17

   39.25

Printing, Paper and Packaging

22.21

21.53

   17.99

Property

34.12

33.25

   35.15

Servicing/Repair

17.77

17.09

   14.15

Spirits, Wine and Tobacco

16.84

16.30

   15.92

Textiles and Clothing

30.50

29.58

   24.69

Transport

28.12

26.52

   21.86

Utilities

28.10

28.51

   26.03

Wholesaling

24.42

23.20

   19.78

Source: Experian  

ENDS

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