Best profits for UK plc in five years as sales grow

UK-listed companies reporting annual results in the second quarter of 2017 notched their best pre-tax profits since 2012, but the outlook is far gloomier, a study published today has found.

But The Share Centre said the outlook was 'much murkier'. Picture: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

The latest Profit Watch UK report from The Share Centre said there was a 41.3 per cent year-on-year jump in pre-tax profits to £22.7 billion as sales and margins improved, with miner Vedanta contributing two-thirds of the growth as it swung to a £1bn profit.

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The firms, covering many consumer-oriented, industrial and telecom businesses, saw sales grow 5.7 per cent, marking the fastest rise since 2014. The weaker pound accounted for only one percentage point of the increase.

Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, outlined a “much murkier” picture ahead, adding: “The UK economy is slowing so even those companies that performed extremely well recently may not continue to do so.”