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May 26, 2024
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December insolvencies reveal tough trading conditions for South East, says R3

Last month’s insolvency figures for England and Wales are out, showing a massive 79 per cent rise compared with pre-pandemic levels at the close of 2019.

Industry trade body R3 identified 25,155 insolvencies across the two nations in December 2023, up from 22,129 in 2022.

Corporate insolvencies showed a seasonal dip of 18.9 per cent from the month before, while personal insolvencies were also down 20.3 per cent between November and December 2023 – but both remain much higher than pre-Covid numbers.

Neil Stewart, chair of R3’s Southern and Thames Valley region, said: “The corporate figures published today are the highest for December in four years and reflect the final month of a difficult year for businesses.

Visit Hampshire Biz News for bright, upbeat and positive business news from the county

“December was challenging for many firms in the South and Thames Valley as they faced additional expenses at a time when margins were already tight. These won’t have been helped by consumer spending slowing and rising energy costs.

“At the end of a tough year, these extra costs, coupled with slow trade, were the final blow for some businesses and led to their directors turning to an insolvency process to resolve their firm’s financial issues.”

Neil added that New Year can prove a crunch time for many businesses, explaining the seasonal fall in insolvency-related activity – that includes compulsory liquidation, creditors’ voluntary liquidation, and administration.

He added: “If the New Year trading period hasn’t improved on the one before Christmas, we could see insolvency numbers continue to rise, as businesses who’d banked on a festive income boost to cover the shortfall in their income turn to the insolvency and restructuring profession for help.

“Our message to anyone in the South and Thames Valley who is worried about money – whether that’s yours or your business’s – is simple.

“Seek advice as soon as possible from a qualified and regulated professional the moment you start to become concerned.”

Read more – South East real estate investors and developers to meet in Leeds for UKREiiF

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