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Decrease in level of corporate insolvencies in Q1

Corporate Insolvency Statistics Q1 2021

A total of 111 corporate insolvencies were recorded in Ireland in the first quarter of 2021, according to the latest insolvency statistics published by Deloitte. This represents a marked decrease of 30% from the same quarter in 2020, when 159 incidents were recorded. Deloitte believes that this low level of insolvency activity is likely to be influenced by the broad range of measures introduced by the government to support struggling companies and their employees through the adverse impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commenting on the figures, David Van Dessel, Partner, Financial Advisory at Deloitte said:

"The current crisis has created the most significant challenge for otherwise viable Irish companies and the true level of corporate distress is likely to be concealed by the level of government support available, particularly among sectors highly impacted by the pandemic, such as hospitality and retail.
Adopting a strategy of early action will always provide businesses and their directors with the greatest suite of options, from refinance to restructuring, and will have them ready to act quickly as government support measures are phased out.”

Sectoral analysis

The Services sector recorded the highest number of corporate insolvencies in the first quarter of 2021 at 52, representing 47% of all insolvencies during the period. This marks a slight decrease on the same quarter in 2020, during which the Services sector saw 54 insolvencies. Within the Services sector, Financial Services saw 37 insolvencies, representing 33% of all insolvencies recorded in Q1 2021. The Education, Sporting Activities and Utility Supply sectors each reported two insolvency events, while the Agriculture, Betting, Beauty, Medical Practice, Mining and Public Administration sectors each saw one insolvency during the quarter.

Outside of the Services sector, the Construction sector saw 24 insolvencies in Q1 (22% of total), an increase of 60% when compared to the same period in 2020, when 15 insolvencies were recorded in the sector.

The Retail sector recorded a total of 13 insolvencies in Q1, representing a 62% decrease on Q1 2020 when 34 (21%) insolvencies were recorded. Four of these relate to retail sale of furniture and household equipment, three were involved in the sale of food products, beverages & tobacco, one in the sale of textiles & clothing, one in telecommunication equipment, one in books & stationary and 3 other.

The Hospitality sector, despite being at the forefront of the economic impact of Covid-19 restrictions, saw a surprisingly sharp decline in insolvency activity during Q1. The sector reported a total of 11 insolvencies in the quarter (representing 10% of overall insolvencies), a decrease of 52% on the same quarter in 2020. Of the 11 insolvencies, four related to companies operating in the food services sector (i.e. restaurants, catering companies etc.), six related to hotels and inns and just one insolvency was recorded in relation to companies operating as bars or pubs.

The Manufacturing sector reported a total of six insolvencies in Q1 (5% of total insolvencies) while the Wholesale sector reported three (%) and the Transport sector reported two (2%). There was only a slight decline in insolvencies in all three sectors when compared to Q1 2020.

Regional spread

Geographically, the highest number of corporate insolvencies in Q1 was recorded in Leinster, with 67 insolvencies (60% of total). Munster saw 27 insolvencies (24% of total), Connaught saw 11 insolvencies (10% of total) and Ulster saw 6 insolvencies (5% of total). Compared to Q1 2020, the level of insolvencies has dropped in all regions, with the exception of Connacht.

The total number of corporate insolvencies in Leinster decreased by 38% year-on-year, from 108 in Q1 2020 to 67 in Q1 2021. In Munster, the number of insolvencies decreased by 27%, from 37 in Q1 2020 to 27 in Q1 2021. Connaught recorded the only increase, from 7 in Q1 2020 to 11 in Q1 2021, while Ulster recorded only a slight increase, from 7 in Q1 2020 to 6 in Q1 2021.

Insolvency processes

As in previous years, Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidations (CVLs) accounted for the majority of insolvencies in the first quarter of 2021, with a total of 78 CVLs recorded (representing 70% of overall insolvencies in the period). This represents a decrease of 42% on Q1 2020, during which there were 134 CVLs recorded.

Corporate Receivership has increased as a portion of overall insolvencies, with a total of 23 (21%) recorded in Q1 2021, compared to 15 recorded in Q1 2020. This year’s figure is in line with that of Q1 2019. The initial introduction of pandemic restrictions on commercial activity could explain the drop in Corporate Receivership activity recorded in Q1 2020.

The level of High Court wind-up petitions reported remained level, with 8 (7% of total insolvencies) recorded in Q1 2021. This is in line with the 5 recorded in Q1 2020, but highlights a downwards trend when compared with the 24 Court Liquidations recorded in Q1 2019. This may be the result of ongoing restrictions introduced in respect of statutory demands and winding-up petitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of Examinership appointments declined in 2021 to 2 (2%) from 5 in Q1 2020. Examinerships have not been widely adopted by small-to-medium Irish companies, primarily due to their costly nature. In response to the economic impact of Covid-19, the government has announced its intention to introduce a ‘Summary Rescue Process’, a less expensive restructuring procedure with minimal court supervision. Specifically targeting SMEs with a reasonable prospect of survival, this course of action is likely to be a viable and affordable strategy.

For Further Information Please Contact

Aoibheann O’Sullivan


01 498 0300

087 6291453


Claire Quinn


01 417 2356

087 9777783

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Insolvency Q1 2021 Statistics

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