The risk of insolvency is always greater for small companies than for larger ones. While larger companies may be able to ride out a recession with cost-cutting, small companies can collapse if orders dry up.
But that provides an opportunity for the UK’s largest corporate insolvency practitioner: Begbies Traynor. It believes that there is still worse to come, and suggests banks may only give retailers until the end of the year before halting extended loans.
Business is already picking up, although this is now reflected in a somewhat racy price/earnings ratio of close to 19 times.
Albemarle & Bond
The scene in which Nicholas Cage pawns his Rolex Daytona in Leaving Las Vegas may be going through many consumers’ minds, as Christmas approaches and family expectations must be met.
And when banks won’t give you money, the services of pawnbrokers such as Albemarle & Bond are in demand. Profits in the year to June this year were up almost 40 per cent and the dividend was raised by 24 per cent.
Unlike its customers, the company doesn’t lack money, having purchased Herbert & Brown, the UK’s third largest pawnbroker. It now operates 111 branches.
The gold price also helps, as unredeemed goods are melted down and remain only as an entry in Albemarle & Bond’s books.