Belfast Telegraph

Business failures in Republic of Ireland hit new high

The pace of company collapses in the Republic accelerated during November as the tally for business failures so far this year reached almost 1,400 - an 11% 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 the province of Leinster, which includes Dublin, was worst hit last month, recording 90 of the 142 insolvencies that occurred in 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," said Ken Fennell, a partner in Kavanagh Fennell, the firm that compiled the data. Those collapses included firms such as Pierse Group and Michael McNamara -amp; 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 2009 will 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 will 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," he said.

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