The number of British manufacturers who are struggling financially has risen by 20%, with food and drinks companies hardest hit – despite the weak pound making UK exports cheaper abroad. Data from the insolvency firm Begbies Traynor showed that 21,061 UK manufacturers, many of which rely heavily on exporting, ended the first quarter of this year in a state of significant financial distress – 20% more than a year ago. The number of food and drinks makers suffering significant distress rose the fastest, by 29%, compared with a 17% increase among carmakers and a 21% rise in the broader manufacturing sector. Britain’s financial services industry is also in a much weaker financial position than a year ago, the research found. The number of firms experiencing significant distress is up 23%, to 5,391 companies.
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