UK businesses have had to face many political and economic uncertainties in 2018. From the fallout of Brexit to the mass closures of high street retail stores. The structural changes to the British economy have forced businesses to adapt their approach to recruitment, stock management and sourcing and financing, causing many to worry about the current outlook for companies across the country.
In response to this, we have collated our business data - a sample of more than 900,000 UK limited companies - into the UK Business Performance Report for 2019 to provide greater insight into the current financial performance of UK businesses across different regions. The data encompasses a wide range of economic indicators, such as liabilities, assets, cash and net wort
The figures shine a positive light in some areas, demonstrating that the finances of many UK businesses across the country have improved considerably over the past four years, with companies in Scotland, Yorkshire and the Humber and London experiencing particularly strong growth.
While business activity still primarily centres around London, the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and Scotland also performed strongly.
Slough was found to be 2018’s rising star, placing third for average total net worth behind Twickenham and Central London.
Businesses in Warrington found to be the most trustworthy based on receiving the highest average credit score.
Northern Powerhouse initiative continuing to deliver results, with Yorkshire & the Humber placing fourth in the country for average business net assets.
Business success outside of the Capital
While business operations are still primarily centred in Greater London, which currently boasts 217,684 companies in our sample set, other areas of the UK, including the North West (98,578), Yorkshire and the Humber (63,282), and Scotland (53,651), were also found to be performing well despite an unstable economic climate.
The town of Slough was found to be 2018’s rising star, placing third for average total net worth with £24.5 million behind Twickenham and Central London with just over £35 million each. The town placed third in the UK for average net assets per business whilst also being in 8th position for the most average liabilities per business, indicative of the region's growth among economic uncertainty.
Who holds all the assets?
Unsurprisingly, London leads the way in average net assets per business at just over £10.4m, and the South East follows behind at £6.1m. This is the typical picture you would expect to see given the number of multinational businesses in our dataset based in these regions.
Scotland holds third place with £5.1m average net assets, whilst Yorkshire and the Humber again demonstrate their financial stability in 4th with just under £2.6m. With recent government funding into the Northern Powerhouse initiative, it’s positive to see continued economic growth in the region, in addition to Scotland’s independent success.
Where should you invest in the UK?
The report also investigated business credit scores to see which regions had the most reliable and trusted businesses. When analysed at a local level, Warrington came out on top with the highest credit score in the UK at 78.8, followed by Kirkwall (78.4) and Aberdeen (78) only marginally behind. Regionally, Greater London held the top spot with a strong 75.7 average, followed by the South East of England (75.6) and Scotland (75.38).