In the first quarter of 2004 Dutch courts pronounced 2,365 bankruptcies, a rise by 23 percent compared to the same period one year previously.
From the second quarter of 2003 the quarterly increase in the number of bankruptcies has been considerably less than the quarterly increase in the last four years. The upward trend is thus discontinued as provisional figures published by Statistics Netherlands show.
Bankruptcies pronounced per quarter, 1980-2004
Small differences between the various legal forms
In the first quarter of 2004 all businesses and institutions witnessed a rise in the number of bankruptcies by 24 percent compared to the first quarter of 2003. The rise applies to all legal forms. Private companies account for more than half of the bankruptcies pronounced, a 22 percent rise on the first quarter of 2003.
Bankruptcies pronounced by legal form
Sharp rise in hotels and restaurants sector and agriculture
Early in 2004 bankruptcies rose in all sectors compared to the first quarter of 2003. In the sectors hotels and restaurants, and agriculture and fisheries the proportional increase was above average, almost 92 and 73 percent respectively. The lowest increase - only 9 percent - was found in construction.
Share of young businesses falling
In the first quarter of 2004, 37 percent of all businesses and institutions that went bankrupt had existed for less than five years, a decrease of nearly 5 percent on the first quarter of 2003.
The share of businesses that had existed for less than five years fell in the last five years, whereas the share of businesses that existed for more than ten years increased in this period.
Bankruptcies pronounced by period of existence