The Late & The Slow Payment Watchlist Spring 2023


Late or slow payment a threat to small business survival

  • Food & Beverage & Retail sectors top the league table of worst performers
  • Late payment culture is rife across sectors that include Automotive, Technology,Media & Entertainment, Chemicals and Manufacturing 
  • Payment practices are improving in Construction sector

Here we publish our analysis of more than 70 companies with the some of the worst payment performance.

Analysing data from over 5,000 companies, we have identified:

  • The Late Payers: Who pay more than 50% of invoices later than agreed terms
  • The Slow Payers: Who report an average time to pay of more than 80 days
  • The Late& Slow Payers: Who take more than 80 days to pay and pay more than 50% of invoices later than agreed terms

Terry Corby, CEO of Good Business Pays said: “Supply, energy and now financial challenges have created a perfect storm for small businesses. While these pressures face all organisations they are felt most, and fastest, by small businesses. That’s why it is entirely appropriate that the government last month launched a consultation on payment practices, performance regulations and a statutory review of the role of the Small Business Commissioner.”

The list shows some of the UK’s largest companies from a range of sectors including AB InBev, Birds Eye, H J Heinz, Coca-Cola and Mondelez Confectionery in Food & Beverage sector; NTT and Telefonica in the Technology sector; and Arriva Rail North in the Transport sector.

Responding to the report AB-InBev/Budweiser Brewing Group said: “We work with our suppliers on an individual basis, negotiating a number of terms, including payment terms, that suit both parties in the long-term. Our average time to pay an invoice is driven by large businesses making up 79% of invoices over the H2 2022 reporting period. Our average payment figure relates largely to these suppliers. We are especially focused on ensuring reasonable payment terms for the small businesses we work with, and 97% of our Small and Micro suppliers have payment terms below 60 days and were paid within those payment terms in 2022. We look forward to continuing to update on progress in this area.”

Tina McKenzie, Policy Chair at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We welcome Good Business Pays shining a light on boardroom practices.

“It’s clear that too many of the UK’s big businesses continue to fail to look after their suppliers. The Boards of companies with poor payment practices should take a long hard look at themselves and take the action needed to improve their performance, not only for the sake of their suppliers but also for their own brand reputation and corporate citizenship. Their Audit Committees should look into payment practices, using the quarterly prompt payment data to challenge management, and assure that progress is being made.”

As consumers face a once-in-a-lifetime cost of living crisis small businesses are wrestling with a trilogy of challenges which Good Business Pays says in unsustainable. 

Large organisations in ‘cash conservation’ mode means many SMEs are living from hand to mouth and waiting too long to be paid for materials, transport, labour, and suppliers for work done months before. Coupled with rising energy costs, as well as consumer demand for ESG-compatible supply chains, and post-Brexit logistics and labour disruption, Good Business Pays small entities face their most critical year.

In 2022 the Federation of Small Businesses predicted that 400,000 would fail due to cashflow problems. 

Data used in Good Business Pays’ ‘Late & Slow Payers Watchlist’ is from information provided by companies under The Payment Practices and Performance Regulations (2017) which required large companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) to publish 6-monthly updates on their payment terms and conditions. 

In compiling its report, Good Business Pays categorises companies into three categories:

  • Late payers – those who report paying more than 50% of invoices later than agreed terms
  • Slow payers – which report an average time to pay of more than 80 days
  • Late and slow payers – those that report an average time to pay of more than 80 days and payment of more than 50% of their invoices later than agreed terms

We provide here the key information from the Payment Practice Reports submitted to BEIS, along with a link to the full reports. Certain companies may also give additional narratives to give context, which we are not able to include in the summary, and this can be seen in the full reports.

The Tables

Please review the Slow and Late Payment tables below. If you would like to access the raw data that Good Business Pays analysed for this report, get in touch here and we will help.

Companies Who Are Slow

Each column can be sorted by clicking on the column title.

CompanyAverage time taken to pay invoices% Invoices paid later than 60 days% Invoices due but not paid within agreed terms% Invoices due but not paid within agreed termsIndustryOriginal Report Filed
AB InBev UK Ltd11778%11%11%Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Accord Healthcare Ltd 9246%72%72%HealthcareOriginal Report
Ardagh Metal Packaging Trading UK Ltd11776%2%2%MaterialsOriginal Report
Ball Beverage Packaging Europe Ltd10354%3%3%ManufacturingOriginal Report
Coca-Cola (CCEP Group Services Ltd)10787%12%12%Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Crown Paints Ltd8773%64%64%ChemicalsOriginal Report
Diesel (London) Ltd9890%17%17%RetailOriginal Report
Dobbies Garden Centres Ltd9969%92%92%RetailOriginal Report
DS Smith Paper Ltd 9171%9%9%ManufacturingOriginal Report
Ferraris Piston Service Ltd10175%53%53%AutomotiveOriginal Report
Galderma UK Ltd9068%86%86%RetailOriginal Report
Grainger & Worrall Engineering Ltd10178%66%66%EngineeringOriginal Report
Greencore Grocery Ltd 9083%14%14%Food & BeverageOriginal Report
GSF Car Parts Ltd8762%12%12%AutomotiveOriginal Report
H J Heinz Manufacturing Ltd9179%12%12%Food & BeverageOriginal Report
JDR Cable Systems Ltd10725%88%88%Oil & EnergyOriginal Report
John Dewar & Sons Ltd9466%9%9%Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Kellogg Company of Great Britain Ltd9374%1%1%Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Kerry Ingerdients (UK) Ltd9173%38%38%Food & BeverageOriginal Report
KR Media UK Ltd9846%41%41%Media & EntertainmentOriginal Report
Mindshare Media UK Ltd9533%43%43%Media & EntertainmentOriginal Report
Molson Coors Brewing Company (UK) Ltd9073%12%12%Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Mondelez UK Confectionery Production Ltd 9969%5%5%Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Nokia (UK) Ltd8678%9%9%TechnologyOriginal Report
NTT United Kingdom Ltd11245%41%41%TechnologyOriginal Report
Plexus Corp (UK) Ltd9253%77%77%ManufacturingOriginal Report
Plumbing Trade Supplies Group Ltd 8965%99%99%RetailOriginal Report
PPG Architectural Coatings UK Ltd8463%47%47%ChemicalsOriginal Report
Reckitt Benckiser (UK) Ltd12690%9%9%HealthcareOriginal Report
RS Integrated Supply UK Ltd 9176%18%18%Professional ServicesOriginal Report
Sealed Air Ltd8157%47%47%ManufacturingOriginal Report
Solvay Solutions UK Ltd 9264%17%17%ChemicalsOriginal Report
Stapleton’s (Tyre Services) Ltd9780%21%21%AutomotiveOriginal Report
Tata Steel UK Ltd9883%69%69%MaterialsOriginal Report
Telefonica UK Ltd10968%4%4%TechnologyOriginal Report
United Biscuits (UK) Ltd8670%19%19%Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Walkers Snacks (Distribution) Ltd 8241%18%18%Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Wavemaker Ltd 9833%39%39%Media & EntertainmentOriginal Report
Whistles Ltd8869%22%22%RetailOriginal Report

Companies Who Are Late

Each column can be sorted by clicking on the column title.

Company% Invoices due but not paid within agreed terms% Invoices paid later than 60 daysAverage time taken to pay invoices (days)Average time taken to pay invoices (days)IndustryOriginal Report Filed
ABB Ltd70%69%67.067EngineeringOriginal Report
Arriva Rail North Ltd77%44%147.0147TransportationOriginal Report
Baker & Baker Products UK Ltd92%58%61.061Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Bakkavor Foods Ltd61%58%75.075Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Baxi Heating UK Ltd96%38%59.059ManufacturingOriginal Report
Birds Eye Ltd68%61%68.068Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Bucher Municipal Ltd 82%54%71.071TransportationOriginal Report
Ceva Logistics Ltd79%63%72.072AutomotiveOriginal Report
CH & CO Catering57%58%64.064Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Civil & Marine Ltd (Hanson Ltd)78%72%76.076MaterialsOriginal Report
CMBC Supply Ltd (Carlsberg Marston's Brewing Company Ltd)87%49%64.064Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Colas Ltd61%32%63.063ConstructionOriginal Report
Communisis UK 58%60%76.076Media & EntertainmentOriginal Report
Crown Paints Ltd64%73%87.087ChemicalsOriginal Report
David Wood Baking Ltd86%56%64.064Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Dnata Catering UK Ltd70%24%71.071Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Dobbies Garden Centres Ltd92%69%99.099RetailOriginal Report
Draeger Medical UK 75%65%71.071HealthcareOriginal Report
Exclusive Networks Ltd86%24%62.062TechnologyOriginal Report
Federal-Mogul Friction Products Ltd82%73%82.082AutomotiveOriginal Report
Framptons Ltd71%46%62.062Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Galderma UK Ltd86%68%90.090RetailOriginal Report
Gather & Gather Ltd64%71%68.068Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Grainger & Worrall Engineering Ltd66%78%101.0101EngineeringOriginal Report
Graphic Packaging International Ltd81%51%84.084ManufacturingOriginal Report
Harsco Metals Group Ltd82%44%65.065MaterialsOriginal Report
Jacobs Douwe Egberts GB Ltd52%58%78.078Food & BeverageOriginal Report
JDR Cable Systems Ltd88%25%107.0107Oil & EnergyOriginal Report
L&Q New Homes Ltd61%51%71.071ConstructionOriginal Report
Mole Valley Farmers Ltd84%36%63.063RetailOriginal Report
Northern Foods Grocery Group Ltd86%65%62.062Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Playnation Ltd77%65%59.059Media & EntertainmentOriginal Report
Plumbing Trade Supplies Group Ltd 99%65%89.089RetailOriginal Report
Proserv UK Ltd68%35%70.070Oil & EnergyOriginal Report
Public Restaurant Partner Ltd69%61%64.064Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Superdry plc80%28%61.061RetailOriginal Report
Tata Steel UK Ltd69%83%98.098MaterialsOriginal Report
The Net-a-Porter Group Ltd 58%36%73.073RetailOriginal Report
TUI UK Transport Ltd100%56%69.069TransportationOriginal Report
Vacherin Ltd 80%58%64.064Food & BeverageOriginal Report
Xtrac Ltd 52%62%62.062AutomotiveOriginal Report
Zebra Technologies Europe Ltd87%51%63.063TechnologyOriginal Report
ZF Automotive UK Ltd60%61%63.063AutomotiveOriginal Report

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