In the fourth quarter, 56 percent fewer companies filed for bankruptcy. Experts and business representatives fear a wave of bankruptcies this year in view of the expiry of corona aid.
According to preliminary Statistics Austria data, a total of 3,155 companies filed for bankruptcy in the previous year, after more than 5,000 in 2019.
The decline in company bankruptcies over the course of 2020 was particularly drastic, according to Statistics Austria on Wednesday. While 1,144 bankruptcies were filed for the first quarter of 2020, there were only 538 in the fourth quarter. This meant that the number of bankruptcies fell by more than half (53 percent) from the first to the fourth quarter.
The re were 1,968 bankruptcies in the first half of the year and 1,187 in the second half of the year.
Service providers particularly affected
When viewed by industry, the highest number of corporate insolvencies for the full year were in the financial services / other services sector (667). This was followed by construction (665), retail (563) and accommodation and catering (484).
The re were comparatively few bankruptcies in the areas of information and communication (105), personal services (168) and manufacturing (194). In 2019 there was a similar distribution of bankruptcies across the economic sectors. Statistics Austria emphasizes that the number of insolvencies is basically dependent on the number of companies active in the individual economic sectors.
Creditreform managing director Gerhard Weinhofer, referred to the expected wave of insolvency in the “Ö1” lunch journal, said that the suspension of the obligation to file for insolvency and the deferrals at the finance and health insurance company should expire at the end of March. Regarding the extent, he said that the previous year there were 2,000 fewer bankruptcies than the average and that these would definitely come later this year. In addition, there would be corona-related bankruptcies. He expects the wave of bankruptcies to extend into 2022.
Bankruptcies increase towards the end of the year
From the current situation, Cornelia Wesenauer from the AKV assumes that after all the legal measures have expired, the insolvency figures will remain so low in the first two quarters and will approach the 2019 figures again from the middle of the year and that there will be a wave of insolvencies become visible towards the end of the year. Revenue losses such as in tourism, gastronomy or the event industry in 2020 would probably not pass by for the companies. But there are also good sales opportunities for the future. Every entrepreneur has to ask himself whether that is enough to absorb these losses from the previous year. As a creditor protector, the recommendation is that everyone asks himself whether an orderly reduction of these accumulated liabilities as part of a restructuring process would not be more productive for the individual companies.
50 percent more private bankruptcies expected
In the case of personal bankruptcies, Wesenauer expects an increase of up to 50 percent this year. In the case of bankruptcies, the economic situation always presents itself with a certain delay effect, which in the case of private bankruptcies could last years. But you can already see for 2020 and 2021 that in view of the deterioration in incomes, debts that have already accumulated before Corona will be less able to be repaid.
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