Fewer Irish companies are going bust, raising hopes that the economy has stabilised.
New figures show that 122 companies went out of business in February – 26pc lower than the 166 that closed in February 2012.
The new data, published by insolvencyjournal.ie, reveals that so far this year, there have been 229 insolvencies recorded, a 24pc drop from the 303 in the first two months of 2012.
The statistics show that despite the year-on-year decline in insolvencies, the retail sector experienced a 69pc rise in business failures last month, when 27 firms went bust. That compared with 16 in February last year. Among the companies in trouble was formal-wear chain Black Tie, which had a liquidator appointed on February 1.
The hospitality sector accounted for 15pc of the total insolvencies in February. The most high-profile was the company behind the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt hotel in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.
Insolvency experts Kavanagh Fennell, which prepares the data, said the level of receiverships was expected to remain high in 2013.