Monday 19 March 2018

Pace of firm collapses accelerated in November

Building sector worst hit as tally for business failures nears 1,400

John Mulligan

The pace of company collapses accelerated during November as the tally for business failures so far this year reached almost 1,400 -- an 11pc increase on the same period last year. A total of 142 firms collapsed last month, up on the 118 recorded in October.

Data released by yesterday shows that Leinster was worst hit last month, recording 90 of the 142 insolvencies that occurred November.

The construction industry again accounted for the single biggest number of failures, with 42 collapses confirmed in November compared to 26 in October. A total of 419 construction firms have gone bust so far in Ireland this year.

"Some high-profile cases in the construction sector found themselves in difficulty and went out of business in November," noted Ken Farrell, a partner in Kavanaghfennell, the firm that compiled the data.

Pierse Group

Those collapses included firms such as Pierse Group and Michael McNamara & Co.

"Not surprising the construction sector continues to suffer the highest number of casualties," said Mr Fennell, who predicted that the total number of insolvencies likely to be recorded here for 2010 would be around 1,500.

"Traditionally the last quarter is the most active for insolvency activity," he added.

In the services sector, 34 companies were newly listed as insolvent during November, up from the 22 reported in October. However, there was a drop in both retail and hospitality insolvencies.

In the retail sector, the number in November was 12. That compared to 16 in October. In the hospitality industry, the number of new insolvencies in November was 14, down from 21 in October.

Mr Fennell also forecast that tough times would continue for many businesses. "Three out of four companies that went into examinership in November were trading companies and I believe you may see an increasing number of trading companies entering examinership over the coming months."

Companies that entered examinership during November included Four Star Pizza and Rockwell Constructions.

The sectors with the lowest number of recorded insolvencies so far this year are IT, with 47, transport with 38, and wholesale with 36.

The number of receiverships also rose in November, to 21 from 14 reported in October.

A total of 208 receiverships have been recorded so far this year, a 77pc increase on the number recorded in the corresponding period in 2009.

"The significant year-on-year increase in receivership numbers indicate that banks are continuing to enforce their security where they believe they have no other option available to them," according to Mr Fennell.

Irish Independent

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