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News : Irish Last Updated: Mar 31, 2011 - 3:26 PM

More than 33 Irish companies per week went out of business in first quarter of 2011
By Finfacts Team
Mar 31, 2011 - 10:02 AM

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New statistics released by InsolvencyJournal.ie show that in excess of 33 Irish companies went out of business per week during the first quarter of 2011. The total number of corporate insolvencies for the first three months is 396. The figures are just slightly down on Q1 last year’s total of 409.

It's surviving companies that bear the brunt of insolvencies and after 3 years of recession and well-off armchair commentators advocating unilateral default, as if a credit freeze would not matter, many SME companies must be at a tipping point.

2,900 companies collapsed in 2009 and 2010 plus sole traders and partnerships, leaving debts for other Irish companies.

Commenting on the figures, Ken Fennell, partner with Kavanaghfennell, the firm who compile the data, said, “Figures for the first quarter are very much in line with expectations and we believe this level of insolvencies will continue throughout 2011, with our year end predictions still not changed at in excess of 1,500 corporate failures.”

The first quarter results for 2011 show that of the 396 insolvencies the industry worst affected was construction, which accounted for over 28% of the total, with retail and hospitality both accounting for 14%. Retail has seen an increase from 37 insolvencies in the last quarter of 2010 to 54 insolvencies in the first quarter for 2011 with hospitality jumping just 5 from 51 insolvencies in the last quarter of 2010 to 56 in the first quarter of 2011.

“The trend in retail is worrying in that corporate retail insolvencies have increased significantly in the first quarter accounting for 14% of the overall total of insolvencies. The increase in the first quarter total of hospitality failures is not surprising bearing in mind the continued downward pressure on pricing and lack of consumer confidence,” Fennell said

Dublin recorded the highest number of corporate failures in the first three months of the year with 139 insolvencies, or 35% of the national total while Cork recorded the second highest number with 35 insolvencies or 9%.

Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidations accounted for 77% of all insolvencies for the first three months of 2011 while Court Liquidations accounted for just 7%. The first quarter of 2011 saw six applications for Court protection granted by the High Court accounting for 1% of the overall total. Receivership totals have increased over 11% from 52 to 58 when compared with the last quarter of 2010 and accounted for 15% of first quarter 2011 failures.

Ken Fennell also points out that “There has been a significant increase in the number of personal assets receiverships for which there is no formal data available.”

The first quarter of 2011 brought with it some high-profile insolvencies, such as Sunday Tribune, Cash Flow Services, The Tallaght Plaza Hotel, The Heritage Hotel and most recently Total Fitness.

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