Bankruptcies reach record high

01/11/2004 10:00

In the first nine months of 2004 more than 6,900 bankruptcies were pronounced by Dutch courts, an 8 percent increase on the same period last year. Such a high number of bankruptcies is unprecedented for the first three quarters.

Bankruptcies pronounced, first three quarters, 1980-2004

Bankruptcies pronounced, first three quarters, 1980-2004

Legal form

Half of all bankruptcies pronounced in 2004 so far involve private companies. In last year’s first three quarters 3,481 private companies were declared bankrupt, slightly more than in the same period of 2004 when 3,445 bankruptcies were registered.

The number of private individuals without a business of their own who failed during the first three quarters increased from 1,643 in 2003 to 1,947 in 2004. The number of failing one-man businesses went up from 886 to 1,052 in the same period.

Bankruptcies pronounced by legal form, first three quarters, 2002-2004

More bankruptcies in agriculture and hotels and restaurants sector

In the sectors agriculture and hotels and restaurants the number of bankruptcies increased by 48 and 26 percent respectively in 2003. On the other hand, bankruptcies in construction and manufacturing industry decreased by 10 and 9 percent respectively.

Bankruptcies pronounced by sector, first three quarters of 2003 and 2004

Strong increase in bankruptcies in North Brabant

The number of bankruptcies varies according to province. The most distinct rise in the number of bankruptcies by 28 percent compared to the same period in 2003 was found in the province of North Brabant. In the province of Zeeland bankruptcies declined by 14 percent.

Around 37 percent of all businesses and institutions going bankrupt in the first nine months of 2004 had existed for less than five years. In the same period in 2003 their share was 5 percentage points higher.

Arie Eilbracht