24 August 2007 | Gareth Mytton
The average UK firm is waiting for £28,844 in late payment, new research has found.
The survey, by credit information company Creditsafe, suggests the value of work that has not been paid within the period set out in businesses' terms and conditions is £128 billion.
Companies in London were waiting for the highest value of unpaid invoices (£53,295). The lowest shortfall was for companies in the south-east of England and East Anglia, which were owed £10,755.
For SMEs, the average debt was £12,000. Larger companies were waiting for £229,335.
Late invoices dented the profitability of almost four in 10 companies - 30 per cent struggled to pay their own suppliers because they were waiting to be paid themselves.
One in 10 companies had struggled to settle tax bills because their invoices were not paid on time.
Businesses are missing out on interest of £1,341 a month on these unpaid invoices.