Industry warning as 1 in 5 large UK security companies classed ‘in danger’

Chart showing the breakdown of Plimsoll ratings
Chart showing the breakdown of Plimsoll ratings

One in five of the UK’s largest 1,000 security companies require an urgent survival plan or risk being forced out of the market, according to the latest research.

A study from Plimsoll into the financial health of the UK’s largest 1,000 security companies revealed a survival plan is vital for as many as 201 of them, either from an injection of capital, a radical cost reduction scheme or financial restructuring, if they’re to continue to trade,.

The latest research has investigated the overall financial performance of each of the UK’s leading security companies and scored each on their financial health. Each company has been given a rating of either strong, good mediocre, caution or danger.

David Pattison, Plimsoll’s Senior Analyst, said:  “We tested this method of analysis on a study of 351 previously failed companies, including all the latest retail failures, and this showed 320 had a caution or danger rating up to two years prior to their demise.

“This proves our method of analysis can identify the key characteristics of a failing company. If failures are predictable, and if enough warning can be given, the management has time to get a survival plan in place to save the company.

“It is clear from this study the Security market is going through a period of great change and the market is highly competitive. These 201 companies rated as danger are clearly operating under financial pressure and many risk being forced out of the market.”

Plimsoll Rating Number of Companies
Strong 541
Good 105
Mediocre 85
Caution 68
Danger 201


Typically a failing company will show the following characteristics:

  • ·         A fall in sales relative to investment
  • ·         A decline in profitability relative to investment
  • ·         An increase in total debts
  • ·         A fall in shareholder equity
  • ·         An increase in the exposure of creditors

The study gives a detailed financial analysis of each of the 1000 companies to reveal where each one is strong or weak, showing clearly the difference between a strong and a danger company.

Danger companies in general:

  • ·         On average these companies are losing -2p on every £1 they sell
  • ·         126 are making a loss
  • ·         Many have high debts

Strong companies in general:

  • ·         Make 3 per cent margins per year
  • ·         Are sitting on healthy cash piles
  • ·         Most are operating completely debt free

Pattison added: “The 541 companies rated as strong have a real commercial advantage and they are proof the fundamental market is healthy.”

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