Belfast Telegraph

Insolvency risk figures show Northern Ireland hospitality sector robust

Headwinds: Stephen Cave
Headwinds: Stephen Cave

By Staff Reporter

Hotels, pubs, and restaurants in Northern Ireland have seen their levels of insolvency risk fall slightly or hold steady since the start of the year, according to restructuring trade body R3.

The proportion of hotel companies based here and deemed by R3 to be at greater than usual risk of insolvency in the next 12 months remained flat over the first half of the year, at 24.4% in January to 24.3% in June.

The restaurant sector also held steady, with heightened risk levels of 35.3% in January and 35.1% in June.

Meanwhile, the levels of companies at high risk in the pub sector rose very slightly over the first half of the year (from 36% to 36.6%).

Tourism operators and travel agents saw a small rise in the percentage of businesses in their sector judged to be at higher than usual risk over the same period, going from 30.6% in January to 30.9% in June.

The research found that at 36.8% across all sectors, we had the second-lowest percentage of companies at higher than normal risk of insolvency anywhere in the UK.

R3's Stephen Cave said the research showed "resilience" in the sector.

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"Hospitality and tourism businesses are facing some headwinds, however, with the recent rises in the minimum wage, and the increase in pension auto-enrolment payments adding to many companies' staff costs.

"It's hard to say what effect Brexit will have on tourist levels, although the pound's relative weakness is encouraging overseas visitors, whose money will go further, and by the same token encouraging Brits to holiday nearer to home," he said.

Belfast Telegraph