20% decline in business failures

There has been a 20% fall in the numbers of business failures in the first three months of 2013 compared to the same period last year.

Figures released by Kavanaghfennell show that the number of business failures declined from 433 in the first quarter of last year to 347 this year.

The retail sector continues to struggle as the sector recorded an increase in business failures as the overall number fall. There has been a 37.5% increase in retail failures, from 40 in the first quarter of 2012 to 55 in the first quarter of 2013.

David Van Dessel, partner with Kavanaghfennell, said that there did not appear to be any sign of respite for the retail sector. “We envisage the retail sector will unfortunately continue to be a casualty,” he said.

Another sector which saw a rise in failures was the hospitality sector up 36%, with 45 businesses closing in the first three months of the year. One high-profile case is Muckross Park Hotel, Killarney, which had a receiver, appointed in March, later removed when the company applied to have an examiner appointed.

There has been no change in the number of examinerships announced, but it is expected that as the year continues the figures will be up due to new legislationallowing smaller enterprises to have an examiner appointed. Already there have been high-profile cases with Pamela Scott, Monsoon Accessorize, B&Q, and the Sunday Business Post all entering the examinership process.

Mr Van Dessel said there are still a lot of companies going into liquidation instead of trying examinership. “We would anticipate examinership activity to continue at current levels and to increase later in the year once the new examinership legislation has been enacted. We would hope that more companies would use the examinership process and avoid liquidation,” he said.

Leinster continued to be the worst-affected province with 62% of the first quarter insolvencies, then Munster on 26%, Connaught on 9%, and Ulster on 3%.


Lifestyle

Frits Potgieter is General Manager with Muckross Park Hotel and Spa.You've Been Served: Frits Potgieter, Muckross Park Hotel and Spa

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