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Companies suffer as UK PLC delays payments of commercial debt

UK PLC named and shamed in latest Payment League Tables

As the credit crunch begins to squeeze British business, UK PLC is delaying payment of debts well past 90 days according to research by Leeds University Business School's Credit Management Research Centre (CMRC).

The Payment League Tables, a joint venture between the Institute of Credit Management, the CMRC and CreditScorer Ltd, collect information on the average number of days it takes UK PLC's to pay their invoices. The payment data is updated throughout the year, as soon as each company files a new set of full accounts with Companies House and a dedicated website - http://www.paymentleague.com/ - enables users to find the number of payment days by company name, as well as within an industry sector.

Professor Nick Wilson said: "Unfortunately suppliers to these companies are often small to medium sized enterprises which do not have the internal financial structure or cash cushion to allow them to trade under debt terms of more than 30 days"

"However, our research shows that the average creditor day figures across all PLC companies are 44 days with a large number of companies delaying payment for more than 100 days."

All UK PLC's are required by law to state their payment days within their annual accounts and the Payment League Tables attempt to display all UK PLC's with their respective payment time. Where companies are found to not report this is also indicated. Professor Wilson said: "Given that the majority of businesses in the UK are small to medium enterprises which are already struggling with tighter bank lending policies the prospects for a significant rise in corporate insolvencies is now a reality as the late payment of commercial debt continues to increase."

It is not all bad news, says Prof Wilson, and many PLC's do have praiseworthy payment policies. The top ten companies in the FTSE-100 index of companies who settle their bills in good time include:

  1. EasyJet (9 days)
  2. EMAP (11 days)
  3. William Hill (19 days)
  4. Dairy Crest Group (24 days)
  5. Bovis Homes Group (27 days)
  6. Admiral Group (28 days)
  7. Taylor Woodrow (32 days)
  8. Trinity Mirror (32 days)
  9. Halfords Group (38 days)
  10. Carphone Warehouse (43 days)

The CMRC was established at the University of Leeds in 1998 with funding from the Institute of Credit Management and commercial sponsors.

The Centre has had ten years of continuous commercial sponsorship amounting to over £0.8m and has received grants from the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform and the Economic and Social Research Council knowledge transfer partnership scheme. In 2007 CMRC was awarded the ESRC prize for the 'best application of management and social science ', for its Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) work with Leeds City Credit Union.

For further information contact:

Professor Nick Wilson tel: +44(0) 113 343 4472 or visit the CMRC website at http://www.cmrc.co.uk/ or www.paymentleague.com

Ian Green, GREEN Communications
Tel:0845 4503210            
Mobile: 07855 341283
email: ian@greencomms.com

Liz Hirst, GREEN Communications
Tel:0845 4503210            
email: liz@greencomms.com

University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk

Editors notes:

Leeds University Business School is among the leading UK university-based business schools and continues to grow in size and reputation. The school is full-range, teaching more than 1,500 undergraduate and 500 postgraduate students from more than 50 countries.
It has its own faculty and its own high reputation for research. Leeds University Business School also has a history of successful partnerships with industry and commerce at local, national and international levels.

Members of the Faculty are at the forefront of major developments in basic and applied research across the fields of Business, Management, Accounting, Finance and Economics. Senior staff have held leadership positions and committee membership and advised major policy-making bodies and learned societies. These include the Academy of International Business, the Academy of Management, the Economic and Social Research Council's Training and Development and Research Grants Boards and the British Academy of Management.

Key achievements for Leeds University Business School include:

  • Leeds University Business school is ranked ranked 48th in the world's top 100 business schools (source: Financial Times Global MBA 2008)
  • Ranked 52nd in the world (Which MBA? Economist 2007)
  • International Business at LUBS ranked world's number one for research, number seven for teaching
  • Ranked 13th equal for Business Studies (The Times Good University Guide 2007).
  • EQUIS and AMBA accredited.
  • CIPD accredited and ESRC recognized.

The University of Leeds is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK with more than 30,000 students from 130 countries. With a turnover of £450m, Leeds is one of the top ten research universities in the UK, and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. It was recently placed 80th in the Times Higher Educational Supplement's world universities league table and the University's vision is to secure a place among the world's top 50 by 2015.

About the Credit Management Research Centre:

The Credit Management Research Centre was established at the University of Leeds in 1998 with funding from the Institute of Credit Management and commercial sponsors. The Centre has had 10 years of continuous commercial sponsorship amounting to over £0.8m and has received grants from BERR and the ESRC knowledge transfer partnership scheme. In 2007 CMRC was awarded the ESRC prize for the 'best application of management and social science ', for its KTP work with Leeds City Credit Union.

Professor Nick Wilson was awarded a 'certificate of outstanding achievement' by Leeds University at the Enterprise and Knowledge Transfer Awards, 2006. The University spin-out company, CreditScorer Ltd was born out of CMRC research and provides risk and portfolio management solutions for lenders to the UK corporate sector. CreditScorer was acquired by Bisnode in 2007.

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