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East Anglia: Insolvency body R3 sounds note of caution despite record levels of business growth

PUBLISHED: 12:21 17 July 2014 | UPDATED: 12:45 17 July 2014

Frank Brumby, eastern region chairman of R3.

Frank Brumby, eastern region chairman of R3.

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Levels of business growth in the East of England remain at record highs and signs of business distress at near-record lows, according to the latest Business Distress Index from insolvency trade body R3.

R3’s Business Distress Index tracks the number of local businesses that are experiencing signs of stress, including decreased profits, sales volumes or market share, regularly using their maximum overdraft or making redundancies.

It also surveys whether businesses are investing in new equipment or experiencing increased profits, sales volumes, market share and business growth.

The index shows that more than two-thirds (68%) of businesses in the East of England are now showing none of the key signs of business distress, which is 17 points higher than the same period two years ago.

Similarly, nearly three-quarters of respondents (71%) are currently reporting at least one key sign of business growth, a 14 point rise from June 2012.

However, the latest statistics also show that signs of growth and distress are still uneven around the country. While 30% of businesses in the Midlands say they are experiencing at least one sign of distress, this figure rises to 34% in the South and 43% in the North.

R3’s Eastern region chairman, Frank Brumby, a director at Isadore Goldman, said: “While Westminster needs to be aware of the growing disparity between the North and the South, the R3 Business Distress Index continues to highlight some very positive results for our corner of the country.

“It’s encouraging that business growth isn’t yet showing signs of decelerating and the pace of the recovery is being kept up.

“A word of warning, though. Businesses need to be on the lookout for any signs that they’re over-stretching themselves. Sales, profits and business expansion may be rising, but if a business runs before it can walk then problems can emerge.”

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