Apple, Tesla and Unilever among firms saying Q4 2021 profits will be lower due to supply issues

Thu 27 Jan 2022
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

supply chain crisis

Seventy listed UK companies reported profits would be lower in Q4 2021 due to supply chain issues – an increase of 19% year on year.

Research by EY Parthenon found the highest ever level of firms (44%) blaming supply chain for the slowdown, compared with an average of about 2% over the past 10 years.

GTR Review reports aerospace and defence were worst affected, with 57% of firms issuing profit warnings.

UK slow to recover

Additional research by supplier invoice platform Tradeshift puts UK’s supply chains “at the bottom of the international pack in terms of recovery since the pandemic”.

UK supply chain activity fell by nine points in Q4 relative to pre-pandemic forecasts, while transaction activity fell by 17 points. 

In the US, supply chain activity reached “touching distance” of pre-pandemic forecasts by the end of Q4 last year. 

Apple and Tesla too

Major manufacturers are not immune to supply chain issues with Apple anticipating a $10bn hit to revenue in Q4, according to the FT.

Also in the FT, Tesla reports constraints in its supply chain would weigh on results “through 2022” even as it reported a record net profit of $2.3bn in Q4.

The Grocer reports a range of retailers and food producers who have cited supply chain problems and rising costs as squeezing margins – including McColl’s, Greggs, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, and Fever-Tree.

No respite

The BBC reports that global supply chain disruption and shortages caused by the pandemic are set to continue well into 2022.

Digital supply chain company project44 says average delays on shipping from China to Europe rose to six days in December, having previously been falling for months.