New start-ups at 7-year high

Last year saw the highest number of company formations in seven years and the lowest number of insolvencies for five years.

New figures, published yesterday by business and credit risk analyst, show that just shy of 18,000 companies were formed during 2014 (17,916 to be exact); the first time the start-up total topped the 17,000 mark since 2007.

On top of that, December showed the best monthly data since 2000, with 1,728 new companies set-up; something Vision-net feels bodes well for this year.

“The seven-year high in company formations and the best performing December since 2000 signals a positive outlook for companies in the coming year,” said Christine Cullen, the company’s managing director.

“It is encouraging that counties Cork, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Louth and Wicklow all saw increases in start-up numbers in 2014 compared to all of 2004. This could be a sign that start-up levels in some rural areas are beginning to climb back to pre-recession levels,” she said.

Furthermore, ‘only’ 1,479 firms were declared insolvent last year; representing a 7% decrease on the previous year. The figure was also the lowest level since 2009.

In terms of sectoral activity, the professional services industry led the way, with 4,618 firms starting up, the highest level for this sector in 14 years.

The finance sector saw a near 30% annualised increase in new entrants, with 992 companies formed; the highest level for the sector since 2007.

A number of sectors saw their highest level of new company formations since the beginning of the century and 2014 also saw some notable recoveries.

In particular, the property sector — obviously, one of the main victims of the recession — started to show real signs of a recovery, with 1,067 companies forming.

This was 54% up on the 693 firms established in 2013.

Similarly, in the construction sector a 33% year-on-year increase in company start-ups was noted for 2014, with 1,322 formations registered. Construction’s recovery was further cemented with it being the fifth most popular industry for start-ups in 2014.

In terms of the insolvency cases, 48% were recorded in Dublin — an increase of 7% on the preceding year — and Cork made up around 9% of cases, roughly down by 2% on a year-on-year basis.

According to Vision-net, the five most insolvent counties last year were: Dublin; Cork; Galway; Wexford; and Kildare.


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