20th anniversary of Profit Warning Analysis

We began analysing UK profit warnings in 1999. Since then, we’ve published 80 quarterly reports telling UK plc’s story through twenty years of economic flux.

To mark this anniversary, we’ve taken a deeper look into this powerful dataset. We’ve explored the trends behind two decades of UK profit warnings and undertaken a special analysis of companies that have issued ‘multiple profit warnings’ – three or more warnings within a year – looking at how their fate has changed over time.

As capital moves with increasing pace, it is more important than ever that we understand the triggers behind profit warnings and how companies can build resilience and reshape their future in this unpredictable world.


20th Anniversary highlights
Over 6,000 profit warnings from more than 2,000 companies have provided us with powerful insight into business, capital and economic trends.
Steve Ivermee
Partner, Private Equity, Ernst & Young LLP

Key considerations

What can we learn from over 6,000 profit warnings from more than 2,000 companies across 20 years?

1. Have you identified the business-critical risks in your sector?

No sector is immune from profit warnings, but retailers and contractors are most at risk.

2. How quickly can you respond to adversity?

Since 2016, the median gap between a company's third warning and a restructuring event has shrunk to 91 days.

3. Can you reshape your future in time to stop a profit warning chain reaction?

The third profit warning is a knockout blow for one in five companies.


Alan Hudson examines the increasing speed of investor reaction to profit warnings.
Lisa Ashe explains why the third profit warning is often the knock-out blow.
Mona Bitar explores why some sectors are more vulnerable to profit warnings.
Logos of award winners

Contact us