Analysis of UK Profit Warnings

In Strategy and Transactions

We have tracked profit warnings from UK-registered companies since 1999, giving us powerful insight into business, capital and economy.

What is a profit warning?

A profit warning is an official statement to the stock exchange from a publicly listed company that says that it will report full-year profits materially below management or market expectations.

Our analysis of UK-registered companies listed on the UK’s Main Market or Alternative Investment Market provides you with insights into profit warning trends and key economic, sector and market issues facing UK businesses. You can delve into the latest quarter’s findings and access over 15 years’ worth of data at the click of a button through our console. Use our profit warning data to understand trends and identify the forces affecting your market and reshaping your path ahead.

UK Profit Warnings Q4 2023 headlines

UK-listed companies issued 77 profit warnings in Q4 2023, down 7% year-on-year from 83 issued in Q4 2022, but in line with the five-year fourth quarter average. There were 294 profit warnings in 2023, with 18.2% of companies warning across the year – higher than 17.7% at the peak of the credit crisis in 2008.

Although the pace of profit warnings fell year-on-year in Q4 2023, as cost pressures eased and hopes of early interest rate cuts in 2024 grew, this is still a testing environment to build earnings momentum, with less growth, more supply chain disruption, higher costs and significantly more expensive capital than most businesses experienced in the decade before the pandemic.

The outlook has improved, but the lagged impact of higher interest rates is still passing through and this more positive outlook is still subject to what is now accustomed uncertainty. Companies need to be prepared for a wide variety of outcomes in 2024.

In 2023,


of UK listed companies issued profit warnings

In 2023,


FTSE Industrial Support Services firms warned

In 2023,


of FTSE Media companies warned, up from 15% in 2022.

In Q4 2023, the median share price fall was


on the day of warning, the highest in over four years.

Download our Profit Warnings Q4 2023 report.

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What can over 20 years of profit warning data tell us?

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