27% rise in firm failures

THE number of firms that went bust soared by 27% in the first half of this year compared with last year.

This rise means that the number of insolvencies has already surpassed the yearly total for 2008 as 792 companies went out of business between January and June of this year.

The main insolvencies were in the construction, services, hospitality and retail sectors which accounted for almost three quarters of all cases.

Figures from InsolvencyJournal.ie found that export-led sectors, such as manufacturing, wholesale and transport sectors are doing much better than expected.

Dublin-based companies accounted for 40% of the national total in the first half of the year.

Partner at kavanaghfennell, Tom Kavanagh said based on these trends, it is probable that there will be close to 1,800 insolvencies this year and if the figure for personal asset receiverships is included, insolvencies are likely to be over 2,000 for the year.

“While the domestic sectors are still struggling, export-led sectors such as manufacturing, wholesale and transport are holding up well, accounting for just 13% of failures,” he said.

Carlow recorded the lowest number of insolvencies in the first six months of the year with only two companies going bust.

There was also a significant increase in the number of receiverships in the period as receivers were appointed to 118 companies, representing a 174% increase on the first half of 2009.

“The latest statistics show that banks are moving into recovery mode to recover distressed loans,” said Mr Kavanagh.

“The figure of 118, however, only reflects corporate receiverships and does not include personal asset receiverships. We’re seeing a similar increase in personal asset receiverships, if not a bit more, so there were probably twice as many receiverships in the first half of the year if personal asset receiverships are included,” he added.

Examiners were appointed to nine companies in the first half of the year, compared with 14 last year and 13 in H1 2008.


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