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More UK businesses display acute signs of distress than last year survey suggests

A survey from R3 (The Association of Business Recovery Professionals) has found that although the number of so-called "zombies" – defined as companies that are paying off only the interest on their debt – has fallen, more UK businesses are displaying acute signs of distress than last year.....

More than 200,000 small businesses – with a turnover of around £50,000 and above – are either negotiating with their creditors or struggling to pay debts when they fall due. The president of R3, said it was "crunch time" for many companies, as banks and other creditors would have "to decide which businesses to support and which to let go". Five hundred businesses were surveyed for R3's Zombie Business report. According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, there are 1.73m businesses with a turnover of £50,000 or above.

A separate survey details another warning sign: UK businesses owe £2.5bn in overdue Vat.

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