Business growth near record levels, R3 says

Businesses in the region are seeing near record levels of growth, according to insolvency body R3.

R3 Yorkshire chairman William Ballmann

The organisation’s latest Business Distress Index found Yorkshire firms ahead of their UK counterparts, with 85 per cent reporting one or more key indicators of growth. The UK average was 65 per cent.

Almost two out of five (38 per cent) of Yorkshire businesses reported growing sales volumes, while 55 per cent are investing in new equipment.

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Increased profits were seen in 29 per cent of companies in the region and 49 per cent are expanding.

Conversely, distress levels in British businesses were also found to be near record lows. The proportion of companies reporting one or more key indicators of distress was 35 per cent, down from 64 per cent in May 2012.

William Ballmann, chairman of R3 in Yorkshire and partner at Gateley LLP, said growth is not only at record highs, but is starting to become more balanced, with four out of five growth indicators increasing since summer.

He said: “This time last year, many businesses were reporting increasing sales and new investment, but not increasing profits or business expansion.

“These latter two indicators have caught up. Hopefully, businesses will now be starting to really feel the benefits of economic recovery.”

However, Mr Ballmann added that cash flow can be an unexpected issue in recovery.

“Businesses do need to be careful that they don’t run before they can walk,” he said.

Larger businesses are reporting stronger growth than their smaller firms across the UK. Almost nine out of 10 (88 per cent) companies with 250 staff or more reported at least one key growth indicator. This compared to 46 per cent of sole traders, down three percentage points from June.