Belfast Telegraph

Company insolvencies up 20% in Republic last year

By Maeve Dineen

Almost 170 Irish companies collapsed every month in the first 11 months of 2011 owing €1.2bn (£1bn) 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 20% on the same period in 2010.

Of these, liquidations accounted for 73%, receiverships accounted for 26% and examinerships for 1%.

On average, five companies were declared insolvent every day last year but 14,439 new firms were incorporated - up 5% on the same period in 2010.

In the first 11 months of the year, 26,154 business names were registered, some 65% of them by individuals, 25% by companies and the remainder by partnerships.

Vision-net's figures show that firms in the hotel and restaurant sector were hardest hit by the recession.

Of 5,000 firms 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 9% 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.

According to figures from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, 268 Northern Ireland firms went into liquidation between January and September this year.

Christine Cullen, managing director of Vision-net, said the figures for companies in the Republic show that it has been a very challenging year.

"Corporate insolvencies rose by almost one-fifth over the same period in 2010," she said.