UK firms suffer sharp drop in profits

UK companies suffered a dramatic drop in profits in the past year, according to research from The Share Centre.

The firm’s profit watch analysis of the 62 FTSE 350 firms reporting annual results for the year ending March 31 found that overall profits after tax were down 33.8 per cent compared to the previous year, from £25.1bn to £16.6bn.

The majority of the damage to overall profits came from big write downs at Vodafone and Tesco.

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However, the study found that sectors reporting a fall in profits outnumbered sectors reporting an overall rise in profits by a ratio of two to one.

Helal Miah, research investment analyst at The Share Centre, said: “The profit watch UK shows just how tough conditions have been for UK Plc over the last year.

“It’s true that some big one-offs have made profits seem worse than the broad spread of results would show, but even at the top line, sales growth of 1 per cent, well behind inflation, is meagre at best, and margins have been under pressure across the board.”