Profit warnings highest since 2001

Last year saw steep rise in the number of profit warnings issued by UK companies, giving the highest annual total since 2001, says a report from Ernst & Young.

Some 381 profit warnings were issued in 2005, compared to 294 in 2004 - a rise of 23%. The main reasons given by companies were sales which fell short of forecasts, difficult trading and market conditions, and increasing costs.

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