Insights

Corporate insolvencies decline 10% in 2015 to 1,049

Press Release

Just 2% opt to restructure by examinership

Service sector has highest number of insolvencies; construction fares better than 2014

Corporate insolvencies totalled 1,049 in 2015, according to figures released today by Deloitte, and published by www.insolvencyjournal.ie. This represents a 10% decrease on 2014, and continues the downward trend observed since 2012 when 1,684 insolvencies were recorded. The decrease in 2015 is less than that observed in 2014, when a 15% fall in corporate insolvencies was noted when compared with 2013.  

Examinerships remain disappointingly low

Of these 1,049 corporate insolvencies, creditors’ voluntary liquidations accounted for the vast majority, with 729 recorded in the year (69%). This is consistent with 2014 where creditors’ voluntary liquidations accounted for 67% of total corporate insolvencies. Receiverships accounted for 251 (24%) of the total corporate insolvencies in 2015, down by 50 from 299 last year. There were 50 court liquidator appointments in 2015, down from 68 in 2014.

Examinerships continue to remain at low levels. In 2015, only 19 examiners were appointed, representing just 2% of all insolvencies in the year. This level of examinership take-up is consistent with prior years and shows that the introduction of new legislation in early 2014 has still not had the anticipated effect of encouraging struggling SMEs to avail of this more cost-effective and accessible option.

David Van Dessel, Partner in Deloitte Restructuring Services, commented: “It is encouraging to see the number of insolvencies continues to decline and is an indication that the improving economy continues to be felt on the ground by companies.

“However, as 2015 ends, it is disappointing that changes, both from the Companies Act 2014 and the new “examinership-lite” legislation of 2014, have not yet made an impact in 2015. These are extremely valuable options for restructuring debt. Take up of examinership continues to remain at very low levels when compared to our international peers and shows that a real effort needs to be made to educate SMEs on this option.”

Service and retail sectors have highest number of insolvencies

The service sector experienced the most corporate insolvencies in 2015, with 200 (19%), closely followed by the retail industry at 154 (15%). The construction industry recorded 139 corporate insolvencies (13%) and the hospitality industry recorded 109 (10%). In 2014 it was the construction industry which recorded the most corporate insolvencies at 20% of the 1,164 total, followed by the services sector with 16%.

Two thirds of insolvencies in Leinster

The highest number of corporate insolvencies in the year was recorded in Leinster with 65% of the total appointments. This is consistent with last year when Leinster had approximately 68% of all corporate insolvency appointments.  In the current year Munster had 21% of appointments, Connaught 9%, and Ulster just 5% - again all consistent with 2014 levels.

Outlook for 2016

Commenting on the outlook for 2016, David van Dessel commented:

“In 2016, we anticipate that the total number of corporate insolvencies will continue to decrease. Furthermore it is expected that there will finally be an increase in the number of companies opting to restructure by way of examinership, particularly as the general improvement in the domestic economy should mean that more businesses will have a reasonable prospect of survival. By corollary, the anticipated increase in restructuring should lead to a corresponding decrease in the number of creditors’ voluntary liquidations, as more company directors grasp the opportunity to restructure their companies’ debts that has been presented with the new Companies Act 2014, and act earlier to avoid liquidation.

“Turning to sector specific forecasts, despite the overall improvements in the economy, the retail sector is likely to continue to experience difficulties as a result of sector-specific factors, such as changes in consumer purchasing habits as shoppers continue to seek more and more value, in addition to the growth of online retailers. In the hospitality sector, while the hotel trade is improving, especially in cities, the traditional pub sector continues to deal with changing market demand and the challenge to adapt and to come up with new strategies for success will remain.

“Looking at the regional spread of corporate insolvencies, we predict the effects of a two-tier economy will prevail during 2016, whereby the rest of the country will continue to lag behind the major urban hubs. Therefore a greater rate of decline in corporate insolvencies could be expected in the major cities, while a less noticeable decline in insolvencies outside of the urban hubs would be expected.”

-Ends-

Notes to Editors

For Further Information Please Contact

Aoibheann O’Sullivan
Murray Consultants
01 498 0300
aoibheann.osullivan@murrayconsult.ie

Claire Quinn
PR Manager
Deloitte
01 417 2356
cquinn@deloitte.ie

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