The Insolvency Service has released figures for company insolvencies in the first quarter of 2019.
The headlines are that:
• There were 451 company administrations in the first quarter of 2019 which is a 21.8% increase when compared to the last quarter of 2018.
• The overall number of company insolvencies for the first quarter of 2019 (when also taking into account CVAs and liquidations) demonstrated a rise of 6.3% to 4187.
• The wholesale and retail trade and vehicle repair industry saw the largest rise over the quarter.
Commentators have suggested that the increase is due to such factors which include Brexit uncertainty, an increase in employment costs and businesses struggling to meet business rates.
What is clear is that the high street retailers are struggling to manage costs when faced with an ever decreasing footfall due to on-line competition. There is a clear suggestion that Central Government needs to level the playing field between traditional high street retailers and online retailers sooner rather than later to reverse the current trend of retailer insolvencies.
There were 4,187 total underlying company insolvencies in Q1 2019; this is 6.3% higher than in Q4 2018. Compared to the same quarter last year, this was an increase of 5.1%. This is the second highest underlying level of insolvencies in any quarter since Q1 2014.