THE number of companies that went bust in the north during the run up to Christmas is significantly up on last year.
A total of 114 businesses went to the wall in the final three months of 2019, official figures show.
It represents a 56.2 per cent rise in company insolvencies compared with the same quarter in 2018.
Some 79 were cases of compulsory liquidations, up from 34 in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018.
The number of creditors’ voluntary liquidations fell to 19 (down from 26).
There were 11 administrations and five CVAs (compulsory voluntary arrangements) over the same period.
Personal insolvencies also increased in between October and December.
The 656 individual cases was 6.7 per cent up on the fourth quarter of 2018.
Gareth Latimer, director of recovery and reorganisation at professional services group Grant Thornton in Belfast said while the rise appeared significant, he said the overall total of insolvencies in Northern Ireland remains “relatively small”.
“Any rise in number can result in large percentage increases,” he said
"Individual insolvencies also increased over the same timeframe, but at a more modest rate of 6.7%. This does nonetheless demonstrate that issues with personal debt remain.
"The figures come at the end of a year that was marked by political and economic uncertainty due to concerns around Brexit, the lack of local government, and the UK general election in December.
"It will be interesting to see if the level of both personal and corporate insolvencies increases or declines in 2020 now that at least some of the uncertainty has been removed."