Welsh Businesses Pay Late Bills Faster Than UK Average; SCOTLAND SEES BIGGEST FEE-PAYMENT IMPROVEMENT

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), April 29, 2013 | Go to article overview

Welsh Businesses Pay Late Bills Faster Than UK Average; SCOTLAND SEES BIGGEST FEE-PAYMENT IMPROVEMENT


Byline: SION BARRY Business Editor sion.barry@walesonline.co.uk

THE late payment performance of Welsh businesses has improved, according to new data from global information services firm Experian.

In the first quarter of this year businesses in Wales paid suppliers 22.46 days after agreed terms. This compared to 24.21 in Q4 of 2012 and 23.03 in Q1 of 2012.

The drop on Q4 of 1.75 days in Wales was bigger than in other nations or regions of the UK, apart from in Scotland where the quarter-on-quarter fall was 2.63 days.

The UK average remained stable at 24.7 days beyond terms compared to the first quarter of 2012, when it stood at 24.8. When compared to the last quarter of 2012, payment performance improved by one day.

The smallest businesses (those with less than two employees) saw a significant improvement in their payment performance during the first quarter of this year, paying their bills more than 4.5 days faster than the same period in 2012.

During January, February and March this year, one and two-people companies were paying their bills an average of 27.9 days after agreed terms compared to 32.5 days during the same period last year.

All other business sizes saw an increase in the time taken to pay outstanding invoices, with the UK's largest businesses (those with more than 501 employees) seeing their payment performance slow by more than two days in the first three months of 2013, standing at 33.9 days beyond terms compared to Q1 of 2012 when they paid on average 31.7 days late.

Max Firth, UK managing director for Experian's business information services division, said: "The marked improvement by the smallest firms is certainly encouraging, but the decline among other businesses is a concern. …

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