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Second-highest Level of Financial “Distress” in Europe is Experienced by UK Companies



Second highest Level of Financial Distress in Europe is Experienced by UK Companies

Because of high-interest rates and inflation, UK businesses are experiencing the second-highest level of “deepening” financial distress in all of Europe.

The primary cause of business distress throughout the continent, according to the Weil European Distress Index, is declining profitability.

German businesses are leading the way in financial distress, with UK companies facing the second-highest levels in Europe.

The study discovered that European companies are finding it difficult to strike a balance between rising costs and the requirement for constant production.

Numerous companies have stated that to keep sales volumes high, they will need to lower their prices.

With rising interest rates, declining property values, rising energy and construction expenses, and more costly financing, the European real estate market is undoubtedly the “most distressed sector” in the index.

Due to rising operating costs, poor investment performance, and the burden of rising interest rates, the healthcare sector is currently the second most distressed industry.

The retail industry, which is ranked third, is experiencing a “double squeeze” from rising rents and higher re-mortgage rates. Furthermore, the crisis in the cost of living has reduced consumer expenditure.

The study also discovered that the Houthi attacks on commercial shipping have caused trade routes to be disrupted and significant challenges for European retailers, resulting in increased conflict in the Red Sea that has negatively impacted global trade.

Consequently, the retail industry’s profitability is becoming an increasingly pressing concern.

Senior European restructuring partner Andrew Wilkinson, co-head of Weil’s London restructuring practice, stated: “As the real estate sector takes the lead in distress within Europe, it’s clear that investment hesitancy and rising costs are symptoms of a larger economic malaise.

“High leverage poses a significant vulnerability in an unforgiving market, where companies confront rising costs against a backdrop of falling valuations.

“Despite falling inflation, retail and consumer goods companies are still under immense pressure.

“A challenging Christmas trading period, lack of consumer spending, and issues around pricing reductions have left retailers feeling less than optimistic about the year ahead.

“With escalating tensions in the Red Sea impacting trade routes, businesses will be monitoring what this will mean for distress levels, particularly with regards to issues around profitability.”

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