02/07/2010

800 Irish Firms Went Bust This Year

Figures released today have revealed that some 800 companies have gone out of business since the beginning of this year across the Irish Republic.

The data from business website Insolvencyjournal.ie showed the number of companies that had gone insolvent was 27% higher between January and June, compared to the same period last year, and that almost four companies were closing each day on average.

The number of companies going into receivership also increased and is already 174% higher than in the first six months of last year.

Despite the depressing figures, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (ISME) has said in its most recent quarterly survey that business optimism continues to improve and is at its highest level in three years.

The business group said the results outlined there have been improvements in employment, sales and exports, albeit from a "very weak base" and that the level of investment has reduced slightly in the last three months.

ISME Head of Research, Jim Curran said:"The survey results confirm that the SME sector is showing signs of improvement but is still faced with significant challenges over the coming months and years. Business optimism is at its highest level since Spring ‘07, with improvements in the last quarter in sales and employment. While the level of investment is down on the previous quarter, the indications are that companies will increase investment over the next 12 months. Exports are starting to increase, with values up on the previous quarter, primarily due to the weakness of the Euro."

Mr Curran added that there is still a significant level of uncertainty, with companies still faced with increasing business costs, a lack of accessible credit and ever increasing late payments. "Consequently, revenues and profits are continuing to decline for many companies, with a further deterioration anticipated," he said.

(DW/GK)

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