|Dear Credit Insurance Colleague
Welcome to issue 22 of Credit Insurance News Digest 2-30 April 2013 brought to you by Credit Insurance News. This issue is kindly sponsored by Tinubu Square, the unique cloud technology company of the trade credit industry.
If you are reading this Credit Insurance News Digest and would like to receive regular copies, please sign-up at www.creditinsurancenews.co.uk.
Credit Insurance News
Short-term insurance claims rise. GTR has published an article, 'Short-term insurance claims rise', which advises that, according to the Berne Union, short-term claims paid by export credit insurers increased to higher-than-expected levels in 2012. Claims paid by the association’s members in short-term business rose by 58%, from US$1.3 billion in 2011 to US$2.1 billion in 2012. This is below 2009’s US$2.4 billion, but still reflects the continuing volatility in which insurers operate, especially in the eurozone. Fabrice Morel, Berne Union deputy secretary general, told GTR: “There was a particular increase in European destinations. Credit insurers had expected it because of the eurozone crisis, but the number of claims turned out to be more than what they expected.” The highest volumes of short-term claims were found in Italy, the US and the UK. Overall (short, medium and long-term) claims paid by insurers reached US$4.7 billion. To view the full article on GTR's website go to http://www.gtreview.com/trade-finance/global-trade-review-news/2013/April/Short-term-insurance-claims-rise_10786.shtml#.UWLHtwbyRsA.twitter.
Insurers and brokers are warning companies to consider trade credit and political risk insurance. Commercial Risk Europe has published an article, 'Buyers urged to consider trade credit and political risk insurance in emerging markets', which advises that insurers and brokers are warning companies operating or investing in emerging markets to consider the economic and political risk of these often distressed territories and to invest in trade credit and political risk insurance. However, according to Evan Freely, Global Leader, Marsh’s Political Risk & Trade Credit Group, sourcing insurance for either trade credit insurance or political risk in emerging markets always requires a broad panel of carriers. “It is rare that one carrier’s appetite matches the client’s needs.” The trade credit market is dominated by three monoline carriers that cover 80% of the market (Euler Hermes, Atradius and Coface). Each has a comprehensive amount of data but has regional strengths and weaknesses, said Mr Freely. “As a result, many multinationals may have a global programme with one of the big three and then use local insurers with better coverage in certain regions.” To view the full article go to http://www.commercialriskeurope.com/cre/2156/70/Buyers-urged-to-consider-trade-credit-and-political-risk-insurance-in-emerging-markets/.
Kerstin Braun discusses the Credit Insurance market. Insurance Journal has published a podcast, 'Global Trade Market Uncertainties Increasing Demand for Trade Credit Insurance', in which Kerstin Braun, executive vice president of Coface, discusses how trade credit insurance works, its history, new developments, current rates and what agents and brokers should learn about this growing market. Ms Braun advises that the US has a great potential for industry growth - especially as US exports increase and recent losses by US companies increase awareness of the product. As a result more US carriers are now joining the market and there is increased capacity. Coface's new TopLiner product is also described. To listen to the podcast go to http://www.insurancejournal.tv/videos/9617/.
Distributors reflect on credit insurance after the failure of 2e2. CRN has published an article, 'UK disties devise post-2e2 bad debt battleplans', which advises that nearly 600 suppliers were owed money by the buy-and-build reseller 2e2 when it fell into administration in January. 47 creditors were owed at least £100,000 and 8 owed more than £1 million, according to a list of company creditors seen by CRN. Richard Hodgetts EMEA CFO at Westcon Group – which was a big supplier of Cisco to 2e2 commented: "I don't think credit insurers are going to run for the hills but maybe they will be a little more cautious." Graeme Watt, EMEA president of Avnet Technology Solutions, said the distributor's £2 million debt with 2e2 were entirely insured by Euler Hermes, but argued the fall-out from 2e2's collapse should come as a "wake-up call" for distribution. To view the full article go to http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/2262854/uk-disties-devise-post2e2-bad-debt-battleplans.(Note, a free subscription to CRN Online is required to view this article).
Euler Hermes named among insurers who have reduced cover on Aurora Fashions. Drapers has published an article, 'Aurora Fashion's credit cover reduced', which advises that womenswear group Aurora Fashions has had its credit insurance cover reduced by leading credit insurance companies. One supplier to Warehouse said: “I can’t get credit insurance on Warehouse although their payment terms are still at 60 days. I have no choice but to continue supplying them.” The reduction is understood to have come about following the restructure of Aurora, which was announced in March. To view the article go to http://www.drapersonline.com/aurora-fashions-credit-cover-reduced/5048090.article?blocktitle=More-Fashion-News&contentID=7468. (Subscription to Drapers required).
Atradius sets up 'task force' in wake of IT business failures. The Channel has published an article, 'Credit insurer sets up 'task force' in wake of enormous UK IT biz failures', which advises that Atradius is setting up a specialist task force to analyse UK channel companies that have a high debt-to-assets ratio or have VC backing in the wake of recent high-profile and costly failures. The article comments: "Credit insurers by their very nature are a twitchy bunch at the best of times, and high-level company failures hardly soothe their nerves." A spokeswoman at Atradius said the company had embarked on a fact-finding mission and is assembling a crack team under the guidance of Marc Henstridge, Atradius' head of risk for the UK and Ireland. Other insurers are expected to follow suit. To view the article go to http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2013/04/15/atradius_taskforce/.
Euler Hermes increases its shareholding in Israeli credit insurer ICIC to 50%. Euler Hermes has announced that it will increase its participation in Israel’s leading credit insurer ICIC from the original 33% acquired in 2007 to 50%, pending certain regulatory approvals. The remaining 50% of shares will be held by Euler Hermes’ local partner Harel Insurance Investment & Financial Services Ltd. Established in 1957, ICIC is headquartered in Tel Aviv and employs 55 people. Euler Hermes expects Israel’s economy to expand by +2.7% in 2013 and +4.5% in 2014 as the vibrant high-tech sector and investments in offshore natural gas spur activity. To view Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/Euler-Hermes-increases-shareholding-in-Israeli-credit-insurer-ICIC-to-50-percent.aspx.
Euler Hermes announces a strong start to 2013. Euler Hermes has announced that it has begun 2013 with a strong start. Revenues increased by 5% in the first quarter to €619.3 million, operating income grew by 19.4% to €127.3 million and quarterly net income rose by 27.5% to €85.3 million. Wilfried Verstraete, chairman of the Euler Hermes Board of Management, said: “The Americas and Asia are the growth champions of the Group and enabled us to post another 5% increase in top line this quarter. On the claims side, thanks to disciplined underwriting, activity seems to be stabilizing, apart from one large claim. Despite the long-lasting slowdown in Europe, Euler Hermes is holding its course on growth and profitability targets.” As in 2012, Euler Hermes expects that the demand for credit insurance coverage will remain strong, especially in growth markets (Brazil, China, Middle East, Russia United States and Turkey). To view Euler Hermes' full news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/euler-hermes-q1-2013-financial-results.aspx.
HCC International announces a credit insurance product enhancement. HCC International has announced an improvement to its Credit Limit Notification Process which is designed to give policyholders a fast-track overview of a buyer’s financial profile. Currently, when HCC is unable to give the full credit limit requested a lengthy report is provided as an attachment to the Credit Limit Notification. However, the new service, which was launched in 22 April, will provide succinct key data not only on those limits with a shortfall but on every UK Credit Limit Notification issued.
S&P Capital IQ announces new suite of credit solutions. S&P Capital IQ has announced the launch of a new suite of credit solutions designed to help assess both rated and unrated public and private companies globally with both “point-in-time” and “through-the-cycle” assessments. Beginning on 29 April, this solution will offer a wide range of capabilities to support comprehensive peer analytics, portfolio reviews and counterparty credit assessments as well as assist a wide variety of research, evaluation and management tasks. S&P Capital IQ will continue to add new credit features and workflow solutions to its platform throughout 2013 including a large suite of models built to enable peer comparison, credit scoring and probability of default analysis. To view S&P Capital IQ's news release go to https://www.capitaliq.com/home/about-us/press-releases/spluspcapitaliq_adds_powerful_credit_solutions_tool_to_its_online_research_data_and_news_platform.aspx.
Update on Credit Insurance News. This issue marks the first birthday of Credit Insurance News and we would like to thank all subscribers to Credit Insurance News Digest and users of our Business Information service for their support over the last 12 months. We will be making some exciting improvements to our website over the coming weeks, starting with an events page which will be launched on Wednesday 1 May.
If you have an event which you would like to promote through the Digest and www.creditinsurancenews.co.uk we would be delighted to hear from you.
New Industry Reports
Global trade opportunities: From Silk Road to tablet road. Euler Hermes has published a new study which advises that global trade is being fundamentally transformed. “As the growth engine for the global economy, world trade is expected to rise by 4.1% in real terms in 2013 (vs. 2.5% GDP growth), and by 5.9% in 2014 (vs. 3.2% GDP growth),” explained Ludovic Subran, chief economist at Euler Hermes. “However, there will be marked contrasts at regional and sector levels. After a period of ‘full globalization’, we now see a shift toward stronger regionalization and the emergence of new risks.” To view Euler Hermes' news release and a presentation based on the study's findings go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/New-global-trade-opportunities-From-Silk-Road-to-tablet-road.aspx.
Atradius' latest UK country report predicts modest growth in 2013. Atradius has published its latest Country report on the United Kingdom, which advises that the UK still faces many troubles. Only modest growth of 0.6%-0.9% is expected in 2013, with subdued export growth and private consumption hit by lower spending power. The only trade sector with an excellent forecast is Chemicals/Pharma. The outlook for construction, construction materials, paper and consumer durables is bleak. To view the full report go to http://www.atradius.co.uk/creditmanagementknowledge/publications/latestreleases.html.
Coface reports that credit risks still are high in Europe but the outlook is favourable in Emerging Asia and in North America. Coface has announced the publication of its second Panorama sector report, which confirms a significant gap between sector risks in Emerging Asia and North America on one side and the European Union of 15 countries on the other. In Europe, there is not a single sector in which the credit risk is moderate. The situation is particularly worrying in the metal industry, which has overcapacity and is exposed to the difficulties of its main customers – the automobile and construction industries. These latter two sectors are considered at risk because they remain very vulnerable to sluggish European domestic demand. To view the report go to http://www.coface.com/CofacePortal/COM_en_EN/pages/home/Publications/panorama-sectors/Spring_2013.
Euler Hermes advises that the US is ready for long-term manufacturing rebirth. According to Euler Hermes, the United States possesses the key elements necessary for a long-term revival in manufacturing. Although the industry has been decimated during the past decade by the offshoring of jobs to lower-wage countries, a process of “on-shoring” is underway, bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. and fueling industrial rebirth. However Dan North, Euler Hermes’ lead economist for North America. cautioned: “it’s not a uniform rebirth – some industries and regions will benefit more than others.” To view Euler Hermes' press release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/US-ready-for-long-term-manufacturing-rebirth.aspx. To view the report, 'The Reindustrialization of the United States', go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/Lists/mediacenter-documents/US-reindustrialization-special-report.pdf.
Atradius predicts a slowdown to US economic growth 2013. Atradius has published its latest Country report on the United States, and has advised that after year-on-year increases of more than 40% in the years 2007 to 2009, the number of corporate insolvencies has decreased. According to the latest figures provided by the United States Courts, the number of business bankruptcies filed in federal courts fell 16.2% year-on-year in 2012: to 40,075 cases. Atradius expects this positive downward trend to continue into 2013, although less steeply - and numbers will remain above pre-credit crisis levels. The report also predicts that US economic growth - 2.2% in 2012 - is set to slow down to 1.8% in 2013. To view the full report go to http://global.atradius.com/creditmanagementknowledge/usa/usa-overview.html.
Optimistic growth outlook for Angola. Ducroire|Delcredere’s latest country report advises that Angola, Africa’s third biggest economy, holds an optimistic growth outlook thanks to projected favourable oil prices - despite moderation - and increased non-oil public spending. However, the country's difficult business environment and infrastructure thwart competitiveness and the banking sector remain fragile. The country's main export products are crude & refined oil and gas (96.8% of total current account earnings) and Diamonds (1.8%). To view the full country report go to http://www.ducroiredelcredere.be/WebDucDel/Website.nsf/%28ScrollNewsEn%29/Angola?OpenDocument.
Atradius advises on trading successfully with Indonesia. Atradius' latest report, 'Trade successfully with Indonesia', advises that trade with Indonesia can prove a lucrative venture for foreign exporters who take the time to understand the market. Not only has it demonstrated solid growth over recent years - a trend that is set to continue, it is already the largest economy in Southeast Asia, and, over the next decade, is expected to figure in the world’s top ten. To view the full report go to http://global.atradius.com/corporate/pressreleases/trading-with-indonesianew-report-helps-exporters.html. A webinar, during which a panel of experts in international commerce based in London, Indonesia and Singapore discuss the opportunities and the logistics of trading in Indonesia in a lively, is also available.
Industry Events and Offers
Webinar: Putting in place Best Practices to combat customer defaults'. 9 May, from 10:00 to 10:45.
Tinubu Square has announced that the latest webinar in its current excellent series, 'Best Practices to combat customer defaults" will take place on Thursday 9 May, from 10:00 to 10:45. Topics covered will include: How can I develop turnover in our local market or abroad? Our turnover is not covered by credit insurance, or partially covered. How can I justify and control an internal credit limit? How do I anticipate the risks? Does my organisation have procedures in place to respond if we see that a risk poses more of a threat? To register please email email@example.com. Alternatively, click on the Tinubu Square's banner at the head of the email and complete the brief form.
North America Trade & Export Finance Conference. New York, United States, 12 June.
Exporta Group is delighted to announce its return to New York in June 2013 for the North America Trade & Export Finance Conference, the only event of its kind for the region's trade and export finance community. Building on Exporta’s strong presence in the US market the latest addition to its North America portfolio will feature a broader focus and strong emphasis on emerging markets trade, reflecting the changing needs and financing priorities of the international business community in the United States and Canada. For details go to http://www.exportagroup.com/events/conferences/North-America-Trade-&-Export-Finance-Conference_398/. A 15% discount is available to readers of Credit Insurance News Digest. Please contact Tom Whitehead, head of business development (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.
Insuring Export Credit & Political Risk Asia. 10-12 June, Swissôtel - The Stamford, Singapore.
Following the success of the 2012 launch event, the No 1 industry event for the credit and political risk insurance sector returns to Singapore for 2013, providing a unique opportunity to meet top executives from the region and internationally and hear the very latest industry news. Over 40 industry experts are due to speak at the event including: Leong Sing Chiong, MAS ~ Ashutosh Kumar, Standard Chartered Bank ~ Kevin Lu, MIGA ~ Topi Vesteri, Finnvera ~ Raffy Rios, Marsh ~ Fabrice Desnos, Euler Hermes ~ Chris Shortell, AIG ~ Ross Jennings, Cargill and many more. For the latest brochure or to register, please visit: http://www.iiribcfinance.com/FKW52562CIN quoting VIP code: FKW52562CIN for a 10% discount.
Aon announces Insight 2013, an exclusive event for multinationals and large corporates. 21 May, London.
Aon has advised that its latest Insight event, 'The Emerging Economy Effect', will be held on Tuesday 21 May at the Royal College of Physicians in London. The morning seminar, hosted by Aon Trade Credit and sponsored by Coface, is an opportunity to gain invaluable insight from speakers on current economic views on the emerging markets and their effects on the UK economy. The morning presentations will also be followed by a networking opportunity over lunch. Presentations will include an 'Economic view of BRIC emerging markets and their effect on the UK economy', by Frédéric Bourgeois, Managing Director, Coface in the UK & Ireland and Grant Williams, Risk Director, Coface in the UK & Ireland. In addition, Graham Bristow, Head of Aon Trade Credit Corporate will give an overview of the credit insurance market. To register for the event please go to http://insight.aon.com/registrationpageMay2013.
HCC International Constructor Day. 11 June, Leicester.
HCC International has announced that it will be holding its HCC International Constructor Day on Tuesday 11 June 2013 at the National Space Centre, Exploration Drive, Leicester, LE4 5NS. The event starts at 12.30pm and all Specialist Brokers are invited to attend. The event will include HCC’s view of the construction sector as a whole, as well as an in-depth analysis of HCC construction products and services. If any brokers have not received an invitation but would like to attend, please contact Marion Clifford at HCC on 01664 423333 or email@example.com. Places are limited so please book early.
Commercial Risk Europe’s Global Risk Frontiers Debate, in association with IFRIMA. 22 May, London.
Commercial Risk Europe’s Global Risk Frontiers Debate, in association with IFRIMA, will take place at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, London on Wednesday 22 May 2013 and is a must attend event for risk and insurance managers dealing with the new challenges presented as companies expand worldwide in search of new opportunities. Attendance is free to all risk and insurance managers. To view the programme for the day go to http://www.commercialriskeurope.com/events/calendar/global-risk-frontiers-2013/programme-global-risk-frontiers-2013. A registration tab is available.
Coface Country Risk Conference. London, 13 June.
Coface UK has announced that its free biennial Country Risk Conference will be held on Thursday 13 June, from 9am to 1pm at the British Library, London. Frédéric Bourgeois, Managing Director of Coface in the UK and Ireland advised:“This year, we have secured an excellent line-up of speakers to talk about the economic trends in the UK and its key markets around the globe, including David Smith, Economics Editor of the Sunday Times who will give the keynote address about the prospects for UK industry. Later, Bruno Weymuller, former Head of Strategy at an oil major, will discuss developments in the energy sector and the implications for industry." Places are limited but those who wish to attend should register now on www.cofaceuk.com.
UK Export Finance Event, 'Support our Exporters'. 20 June, Hull.
UK Export Finance is holding and event, 'Support our Exporters' on Thursday 20th June, 8.30am - 12.00pm at the World Trade Centre Hull & Humber, 48 Queen Street, Hull, HU1 1UU. The event will highlight some of the various options available to UK exporters, with Craig Stone, Associate Director from the UK Credit Insurance Specialists, giving an overview of Trade Credit Insurance. For more details and to register please go to www.ukefhull.eventbrite.co.uk.
OFFER: Credit Insurance News readers can save an exclusive 10% discount when ordering Insolvency Today’s new publication, The Black Book. This is a comprehensive guide profiling 250 of the most active IPs in England and Wales in 2012, with widespread analysis of the most active industry sectors and regions and details of all administrations across England and Wales in 2012. Call Ninica on 020 79404842 and quote ‘Credit Insurance News’ for your discount. (Note: the standard price is £399 – you will save £39.90).
Business Information: Recommended Reports and Business Shorts
D&B advises that British businesses are starting to pay more promptly. D&B has published a report which has advised that the average time taken by British businesses to pay bills improved by two days throughout 2012 to an average of fifteen days late against agreed payment terms. These late payment times are similar to those of France, Spain and Italy, but are nine days slower than Germany. In general, payment performance across all UK sectors improved moderately over the past year, with the exception of the retail sector, where payment time increased substantially to nineteen days during 2012. British businesses have been steadily paying bills later in recent years, from thirteen days late in 2006, peaking at seventeen days in 2011. To view D&B's full news release go to http://www.dnb.co.uk/news/payment-trends-apr13.
Bacs research finds that the national late payment debt now stands at £30.2 billion. According to new research by Bacs Payment Schemes Ltd (Bacs), UK SMEs are still facing an average wait of more than 38 days – or almost eight working weeks - after bills are due before they see any money. 58% of the country’s 1.7 million SMEs say that large companies choose when they want to pay up, and 44% of SMEs experiencing late payments report it’s the bigger companies which are the worst offenders when it comes to paying late. The research also found that national late payment debt now stands at £30.2 billion, with the average business waiting for £31,000 in overdue payments. Furthermore, one in 10 SMEs who experience late payments say they’re owed a staggering £50,000 or more. To view the full news release on Bacs' website go to http://www.bacs.co.uk/Bacs/Press/PressReleases/2013/Pages/PaymentTermsIgnoredAsSMEsWaitEightWeeksForMoney.aspx.
Begbies Traynor Red Flag research indicates the UK will narrowly avoid a triple dip recession. The most recent Begbies Traynor Red Flag Alert research for Q1 2013, which monitors the financial health of “Corporate UK”, shows that the recovery of UK plc continues, with a 34% decline in ‘Critical’ financial distress among UK businesses compared to Q1 2012. Across all sectors, UK businesses experiencing ‘Critical’ financial problems reduced from 5000 in Q1 2012 to 3283 in Q1 2013, indicating that the UK economy has turned a corner. However this positive picture, led predominantly by improvements in the UK’s vital business services sector, masks a patchy recovery with sectors reliant on the consumer economy (general retail, leisure and media) as well as real estate, witnessing an increase in financial distress for the period. To view Begbies Traynor's full news release go to http://www.begbies-traynorgroup.com/default/news/13-04-24/begbies_traynor_red_flag_alert_indicates_uk_will_narrowly_avoid_a_triple_dip_recession.aspx.
Late payment leads to redundancies amongst UK firms. According to Hilton-Baird Collection Services’ latest Late Payment Survey, more than half of British businesses are being left with no alternative but to suspend work and services in order to protect their cash flows against the continued threat of late payment. This hard-line tactic, was used by 54% of businesses during 2012 according to the Survey. In addition, the survey found that 6% of the businesses surveyed had to make at least one employee redundant last year as a direct consequence of late payment, while 1 in 20 respondents were also forced to reduce staff working hours and shifts due to their customers’ failure to pay on time. To view Hilton Baird's news release go to http://www.hiltonbaird.co.uk/Press-Office/406/SMEs-stand-tall-against-late-payers/Late-Payment-Survey-2013/.
The number of Scots firms failing drops dramatically in first quarter. According to new analysis by BDO, the number of Scottish firms failing in the first quarter of 2013 fell by 62.9% compared with the same quarter in 2012 and by 22.7% compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. The latest Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) figures show that 143 Scottish companies went bust in the first thirteen weeks of this year compared to 385 in the first quarter of 2012. However, although these figures appear to indicate a dramatic improvement in the performance of businesses in Scotland, BDO's Business Restructuring partner, Bryan Jackson, cautions that this may be more of a temporary blip than a full recovery: “I would hope that these figures indicate a major shift for Scottish business but fear that they may be more to do with a temporary improvement rather than any major change in the economy.” To view BDO's news release go to http://www.bdo.uk.com/press/quarterly-insolvency-stats-number-scots-firms-failing-drops-dramatically-first-quarter.
Reduction in trade credit impacting SMEs. Figures from Experian’s latest BusinessIQ show that trade credit has fallen among businesses over the last few years and still remains at an all time low. The proportion of SMEs accessing trade credit stood at 10% in 2008, but fell to 9.2% in 2009 and now stands at 6.1%. This equates to a £4.7 billion fall in the amount of credit available to SMEs between 2008 and 2011. The smallest SMEs have been affected the most. In 2007, 90,000 businesses with a turnover of under 50k had access to trade credit, but this fell by almost 50% by the following year. Businesses in the 250k turnover bracket have also seen a marked decline, with figures falling by 17% from 45,449 to 37,688. Businesses with a turnover of under one million saw a marginal fall, but for bigger businesses (with a turnover above £10 million) access to trade credit remained broadly the same. To view Experian's news release go to http://press.experian.com/United-Kingdom/Press-Release/reduction-in-trade-credit-impacting-smes.aspx.
The UK High Street: Who's UP/Who's DOWN
UP: Primark. While the normal rule of the High Street is that to succeed retailers need an online operation, Primark continues to thrive despite having no online presence and no intention of deviating from bricks and mortar. In the six months to the beginning of March, sales grew by 24% (7% on a like or-like basis) to just under £2 billion and operating profit rose by 55% to £238 million. Primark's parent company Associated British Foods, hailed Primark's results an "exceptional performance". Looking ahead, the retailer plans to launch 15 new stores in Europe.
UP: Sports Direct has advised that it is more than on track to hit its full year target of £270 million gross profit. In the 9 weeks to 31 March, sales rose by 14.3% to £317.4 million with a 22.7% increase in gross profits to £129 million. Online sales now account for 15% of the business. The figures do not include the performance of Republic, the fashion chain bought out of administration by Sports Direct earlier this year.
PROFITS DOWN: Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, has advised that its annual pre-tax profits in the year to 23 February fell by 51% to £1.96 billion - the first time in almost 20 years that the supermarket's profits have been down. The downturn was largely due to Tesco's failed attempt to enter the US market, which will lead to £1.2 billion write-off. It has also abandoned its plan to open 100 new UK stores, with a write-down of £804 million. However, market sales at UK stores in the past three months, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, rose 0.5%, and analysts have welcomed Tesco's continuing strategic shift from bricks and mortar to online.
COST CUTTING:: Morrisons, the UK's fourth biggest supermarket, has announced that as part of a cost-cutting exercise it plans to introduce machines to replace manual cash-counting and, as a consequence, 700 staff may lose their jobs. This move follows the supermarket's 7% reduction in 2012 profits to £879 million, and its decreasing marketshare in the grocery sector: 12.3% - 11.7% compared to a year earlier (Kantar data: 12 weeks to 17 March).
OPERATING LOSS: Monsoon Accessorize. Following a year which Monsoon's founder described as the most difficult trading period in the company's 40 year history, Monsoon Accessorize has reported a £4 million operating loss in the year to 25 August 2012. This follows a £60.1 million profit the previous year. Group sales fell by 12% to £529.3 million, and were down by 10% in the UK and Ireland. However, the Group has advised that it has taken action to improve its performance, and has already seen a more positive start to the current financial year. The group has also maintained a strong balance sheet.
PROFIT WARNING: Greggs, the UK's largest bakery chain, has advised that its pre-tax profits for 2013 are likely to be slightly below market expectations of £47.5-55.2 million - an exact estimate was not given. Greggs advise that this is due wet weather as well as challenging market conditions, which led to a 4.4% decline in like-for-like sales in the 17 weeks to end April. While sales actually rose by 3%, this was due to a combination of new stores and other initiatives.
PROFIT WARNING: Ladbrokes, the UK second largest bookmaker, has warned that its trading was worse than expected in early 2013, with a £13 million fall in operating profit down to £37.4 million over the quarter. The company advises that the quarter, always a slow one for bookmakers, had been made more challenging for them following a significant reduction in profit from the Cheltenham festival. Ladbrokes now forecast an annual operating profit at the bottom of market forecasts - around £188 million.
Career Opportunities and New Appointments
Trade Credit Insurance Sales (LKY 38108), Dublin.
An experienced sales person specialising in Trade Credit Insurance is required for an exciting new permanent role. Principal responsibilities will include securing new business to build, expand and diversify the client book and meeting, and where feasible, exceeding sales targets. Relevant insurance exams, sound technical knowledge of credit insurance products and markets, a proven track record in sales, self-motivation and the ability to work independently and as part of a team are among the requirements. For further information or to apply direct go to http://www.executiveconnections.ie/detail_LKY+38108_-_Trade_Credit_Insurance_Sales.html. Suitably qualified applicants should contact Laura Kennedy, Key Account Manager at Executive Connections on 01-6618740 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest)
Trade Credit Broker, London. Salary £60,000 - £80,000 plus bonus and benefits.
A well known and well reputed London market team focusing on the larger clients both nationally and internationally are seeking a capable broker/client manager to both place XoL and WTO credit risks into the market whilst managing and developing the client relationship. In addition you will seek to increase the brokerage through client referrals. Contact Kerren Leach at email@example.com or call 0207 2204777 or 07940 403046 for a confidential discussion. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).
Political Risk Brokers, various roles. Salary range from £45,000 to £175,000 plus bonus and benefits.
A well known growing broking house is seeking to rapidly expand its Political Risk offering and is keen to talk to brokers at all levels from 18 months experience through to director level. Mix of client types and policy types. Seeking ambitious individuals who are interested being part of a developing team. Various roles are available. Contact Kerren Leach at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 2204777 or 07940 403046 for a confidential discussion. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).
New Business Underwriter, London. Salary £35,000 - £45,000 + bonus and benefits.
A respected insurer operating in the London market is seeking a New Business Underwriter to focus on clients with turnovers in excess of £20 million. Experience of WTO and XoL is desired, coupled with the gravitas to take on a client facing role. You'll be given excellent training and development coupled with the opportunity to further progress your career. Contact Kerren Leach at email@example.com or call 0207 2204777 or 07940 403046 for a confidential discussion. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).
Senior Client Executive - Trade Credit (ref: 27857), London.
A major leading insurance brokerage is currently recruiting a Senior Client Executive - Trade Credit for their London City branch. The jobholder will direct the profitable handling and growth of client accounts through the delivery of the overall client relationship management strategy and the acquisition of new clients, and must have an in-depth knowledge of the industry sector. Additional requirements include: excellent communication skills, an ability to identify issues and take relevant action and leadership skills. To view the full job description go to http://www.lawesrecruitment.co.uk/jobs/city/account-executive/jobs-over-50k/lloyds-london-market/senior-client-executive--trade-credit-london/1647/. To apply or for more information call 0203 4118430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).
QBE Trade Credit expands its team. QBE has announced that Sebastian Rice is to join QBE Trade Credit from 28 June as Senior Underwriter. Reporting to Ian Bocca, Seb will be responsible for the development and servicing of new trade credit business in the UK. Working with the London based specialist trade credit brokers, Seb’s role will encompass UK domestic, multiregional, and global business across all product types emanating from London. His previous roles include Global Sales Manager at Atradius and Strategic Account Manager at Euler UK. To view QBE's press release go to http://www.qbeeurope.com/news/2013-archive.asp.
About this week's sponsor: Tinubu Square
Tinubu Square’s mission is to give our clients better control, visibility and management of their trade credit risk. Tinubu Square’s Risk Management Center (RMC), a cloud-based SaaS platform is a ledger management & credit insurance policy management tool which can eliminate fragmented credit management systems. This allows our customers to gain a consolidated view of risk per business unit or group wide. As an addition to our software offering, we are able to supply our Credit Risk Intelligence reporting and Risk Analyst advisory services. This gives companies the true picture of their customers’ financial health across their enterprise, from sales and marketing through the entire order-to-cash cycle. As a result, you can manage your customer credit exposure at local and international levels, improve cash flow, secure the value of receivables as an asset on your balance sheet and strengthen your financial position for short-term bank credit.
For more detailed information please review the website at www.tinubu.com or call Mark Avery on 07415 856349.
Credit Insurance News Digests: Sponsorship
Sponsoring an issue of Credit Insurance News Digest is a great way to promote your company or brand to a committed audience of trade credit insurance professionals.
If you are interested in sponsoring an issue go to www.creditinsurancenews.co.uk for further information.
The next issue will be with you on Tuesday 14 May