Begbies Traynor reiterated its concern at market conditions in a trading update released to the London Stock Exchange this morning.
The third quarter update gave scant detail about the group’s financial performance, other than to say that group profit from continuing operations was in line with the board’s expectations and consistent with the performance reported in the half year results in December 2012.
However, the inclusion of a paragraph on ‘market conditions’ stressed the current headwinds faced by the group, notably a 5.8% decline in the number of corporate insolvencies in England & Wales in calendar year 2012 to 20,580 from 21,858 in 2011.
Begbies Traynor cut its insolvency staff headcount by 6.2% in March 2012, but the firm still managed to attract the largest number of administration cases nationally between 1January and 31 October 2012, according to figures from the London Gazette.
Ric Traynor, executive chairman of Begbies Traynor, said the group continued to report “sustainable levels of profitability whilst maintaining a sound financial position.”
He added: “Overall the insolvency market remains challenging, despite the impression given by a number of high profile retail administrations since Christmas.”
The third quarter update concluded that expectations for the year as a whole remain unchanged, dependent on trading in the “important final quarter”, supported by cost-saving initiatives over the last two financial years.