Business Irish

Friday 6 December 2019

Number of firms going bust jumps by a third in a month

Joe Brennan

The number of Irish companies going bust jumped by one-third in the space of a month to 145 in February as the effects of the 'Big Freeze' proved the final straw for many retailers.

Construction insolvencies also continued to ratchet higher as the start-up of NAMA, designed to put a floor under the sector, continued to be delayed.

The latest statistics from reveal the number of retail companies that went belly-up more than doubled in February to 26 -- equivalent to almost one a day.

The services and hospitality industries also recorded increases in corporate failures.

Ken Fennell of Kavanagh Fennell, one of country's largest insolvency-focused accountancy practices which also runs, said the total for February ranks second only to December, when the shutters were pulled down on 156 companies.


"If the trend continues, total insolvencies this year could exceed the 1,406 recorded in 2009," Mr Fennell said.

Manufacturing, however, bucked the downward trend and insolvencies in the sector almost halved -- falling from 11 in January to six in February.

The number of companies going into receivership also appears to be slowing down, with only 17 receivers appointed in February compared to 21 in January.

After two consecutive months during which there were no applications for court protection granted by the High Court, three companies -- including the Jackie Skelly chain of fitness clubs -- entered examinership in February.

Leinster was the worst-hit region again during February, accounting for 60pc of the total number of insolvencies.

But there was also a surge in company failures in Connaught -- up from seven in January to 18 in February.

Separately, an IBEC survey showed that the majority of companies that are heavily reliant on public contracts feel they are getting a raw deal.

The public procurement market amounts to €16bn annually.

Irish Independent

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