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Retailer profit warnings double in a year

The number of profit warnings by FTSE-listed retailers has doubled over the past year as the sector battles reduced spending.

There were 20 profit warnings in the first half of 2018, twice the amount issued a year earlier,  professional services firm EY reports. Retailers including Debenhams, Moss Bros and Mothercare have all issued profit warnings so far this year.

“The proportion of profit warnings citing delayed or cancelled contracts reached a six-year high in 2018,” said Alan Hudson, EY’s head of restructuring. “Many companies cannot say with any certainty what trading and regulatory regimes they’ll be operating under this time next year.

“UK growth and the global recovery are still in evidence, but both face risks as threats multiply. A rise in restructurings and profit warnings, as well as sharper investor reactions to those warnings, underscore that we face a more precarious earnings outlook.”

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