ALMOST 170 companies collapsed every month in the first 11 months of 2011 owing €1.19bn in unpaid unsecured debt, according to new figures from the business intelligence analyst Vision-net.
Between January and December a total of 1,930 Irish companies failed. This is up 20pc on the same period in 2010.
Of these, liquidations accounted for 73pc, receiverships accounted for 26pc and examinerships for 1pc.
On average, five companies were declared insolvent every day last year but 14,439 new firms were incorporated -- up 5pc on the same period in 2010.
In the first 11 months of the year, 26,154 business names were registered; some 65pc of them by individuals, 25pc by companies and the remainder by partnerships.
Vision-net's figures show that companies in the hotel and restaurant sector were hardest hit by the recession. Of 5,000 companies Vision-net analysed in the hospitality sector, 3,401 were deemed high risk.
Last year, 181 companies in the hospitality sector closed, accounting for about 9pc of all business failures.
Of the 16,145 construction companies analysed, 9,529 of them showed signs of business failure while, in the real estate sector, where 14,536 companies were examined, almost half were considered to be in danger of insolvency.
In the motor trade, just less than half of the companies surveyed were struggling to stay solvent. In the wholesale and retail sector, 5,522 companies of the 10,850 analysed were deemed to be high risk.
Christine Cullen, managing director of Vision-net, said the figures show that it has been a very challenging year.
"Corporate insolvencies rose by almost one-fifth over the same period in 2010 but the number of newly created companies is marginally up, showing that entrepreneurship remains strong," said Ms Cullen.
"But in a move that is likely to thwart economic recovery, short-term unsecured creditors are still owed €1.19bn which has serious knock-on effects for business cash flow, employment and consumer sentiment."