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Business failures up by 10% y-o-y in 2011


A total of 723 companies were declared bankrupt by the Polish courts in 2011, an increase of 10.4% compared with 2010 and fully 76% higher than in 2008, according to latest figures from Coface, the global provider of credit solutions. It is the highest figure since 2005.

Last year was characterised by a gradual increase in the level of business risk facing firms operating in Poland, as reflected by rising volume and value of outstanding payments in the business sector and a deterioration in the Coface Payment Incident Index, the company notes. By way of comparison, in 2010 business failures were down by 5.2% to 655, thanks to better payment discipline.

There were significant differences between sectors, however. The construction industry was hit hardest, with the number of bankruptcies up by 46% over 2010, to 143. As a result, the sector accounted for nearly 20% of all business failures in Poland last year, compared with just over 10% two years earlier. (In real estate bankruptcies more than doubled last year, but from a much lower base, totaling 28). In the trade sector business failures increased by 22.4% in 2011, to 180, though they remained just below their level in 2009. (In the sub-category of retail trade the figure surged by 84% to 46). Trade accounted for 25% of all failures in 2011.

At the same time, in manufacturing the number of business failures declined by 12.8% to 218, or 31% of the total, compared with 41% in 2009. Particularly notable improvement was noted in other non-metallic mineral products (a category that includes building materials), with just six bankruptcies, down by 70%; and in wearing apparel and textiles, where the figure nearly halved to 15. In metals and metal products the fall was more modest, by 6% to 47, indicating continued stabilisation after the turbulence of previous years. By contrast, in the manufacture of rubber and plastic products business failures went up by 40% to 21.

In transport and storage the figure remained unchanged at 40.

Geographically, in 11 out of 16 voivodships business failures increased, led by Podlaskie, Lubuskie and Lubelskie; in four they decreased, led by Warminsko-Mazurskie; and in one (Podkarpackie) the number of business failures was the same as in 2010.

Small and medium-sized companies were more likely to declare bankruptcy in 2011 than were large firms.

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