Allegrini 2018

Sorry for the delay: Food & Beverage companies below average for on-time payments

Despite signs of recovery, the situation remains difficult for a sector that includes 629,200 companies
Still high payment delays for food & beverage in Italy, analysis by Cribis

There has been an improvement but the situation does not remain immune to criticism. According to the Crisis Payment Study, updated in September 2018 and analyzed by WineNews, all sectors of the Food & Beverage sector, despite a slight improvement, recorded payment performance below the national figure.
The “report”, at a general level, concerning the payment times of Italian companies towards their suppliers, is still insufficient, despite signs of improvement. This is nothing new. Food & Beverage is a leading sector, because it embraces 629,200 Italian companies that are divided into “Horeca” (65.6%), “Retail Food/Beverage” (26.6%), “Wholesale Food” (5.6%), “GD/DO” (1.4%) and “Wholesale Beverage” (0.8%).
The payments are proceeding in different stages, in fact, the best performances are recorded in all sectors in the North East and the North West, while in the South and the Islands there are more problems. Almost a quarter of the companies are concentrated in two regions, Lombardy (13%) and Lazio (11.4%). The national average, concerning the speed of payment within the time required by law, is 36.3%, while the Food & Beverage sector is 19.18%. Furthermore, almost 2 companies out of 10 (18.18%, the national average is 11.3%) pay suppliers over 30 days.
A distant horizon if we consider that it is the “Food Wholesale Trade” that leads the group of the most virtuous sectors of the sector with 25.2% “on time” to suppliers, however, down compared to both 2010 (-8.7%) and the same period in 2017 (-4.2%). The “bottom of the league” is for the “GD/DO” sector, a large-scale retailing/organized distribution, which last September confirmed that it is the “tail-end” of the group: here only 14.5% of companies regularly pay their suppliers.

Long times also for the “Horeca” sector, where 17.5% of companies pay their suppliers on expiry (a stable figure compared to September 2017), compared to 22.8% of companies with delays of more than 30 days (+130% compared to 2010). The “Food & Beverage Retail Trade” also fell, with less than a fifth (18.9%) of companies paying on time (-10.8% compared to 2010 and -4.4% compared to September 2017), but in this case companies with delays of more than 30 days (20.2%) fell by 3.8% when looking at the statistics for the same period in 2017.
A change of trend can be found in the “Wholesale Beverage” sector, which is still the smallest segment of the cake (0.8%), here 19.8% of companies record on-time payments to suppliers with an increase of 21.5% compared to 2010 and 10.6% to March 2017. Analyzing the fourth quarter of 2010, the third quarter of 2018 is negative everywhere if we look at payments with delays of more than 30 days: -3.5% for “Wholesale Beverage”, -2.8% for “Wholesale Food”, -1.2% for “GD/DO”, -4.8% for Retail Food & Beverage” and even -12.9% for the “Horeca” sector, which represents well over half of the companies in the sector.
During this period the trend of on-time payments is also decreasing, with the exception of “Wholesale Beverage” (+3.5%). The national average has fallen from 37.5% to 36.3%, while the “Wholesale Beverage Trade” stops at 19.8%. The “Wholesale Food Trade” from 27.6% went up to 25.2%, but the “GD/DO” (from 21.3% to 15.3%) and the “Horeca” (from 25.5 to 17.5) sectors are even worse, with the downward trend that also involves the “Food & Beverage Retail Trade” (from 21.2% to 18.9%).
The numbers prove that the crisis is not over at all. The warning bell continues to sound: late payments can jeopardize the entire commercial chain, even involving healthy companies that risk ending up in a difficult situation with no fault.

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