2021 sees a historically low number of bankruptcies with 1809 cases

Reading Time 5 minutes | Anne de Geus | 11 January, 2022

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In December, 156 businesses were forced to close their doors

Rotterdam, 11 January 2022 - In 2021, a total of 1,809 companies went bankrupt. This is evident from a data analysis conducted by business data specialist Altares Dun & Bradstreet. In comparison, 2019 saw twice as many bankruptcies (3,765) and in 2020 a whopping 3,157 companies closed their doors out of necessity.

David Verheecke, Managing Director Benelux at Altares Dun & Bradstreet: "The number of bankruptcies in 2021 is historically low. We last saw these numbers in the early 90s. The low number is most likely caused by the government support because of all the corona measures. In fact, if we look at how the number of bankruptcies normally relates to the development of GDP, the number should be much higher. It is still unclear what the market will do once the support is fully released. There is a good chance that there will be a wave of bankruptcies, but how high is difficult to say. In any case, companies would do well to keep a close eye on the financial situations of their customers, to avoid unpleasant surprises later on."

Insolvencies peak in November

The December month has 156 bankruptcies, for comparison, in 2020 and 2019, 203 and 319 companies went bankrupt in the last month of the year, respectively. Looking back at the past year, the months of March, June and November saw the most companies go bankrupt, 193, 165 and 207.

Relatively few restaurants and hospitality bankrupt

While the corona measures have a lot of impact on the operations of hospitality businesses, it is still not reflected in the bankruptcy figures. For example, only 100 hospitality establishments went bankrupt in 2021, 151 in 2019 and 192 in 2020. A sector that suffers more heavily is construction: this year 311 companies in that sector went bankrupt. The highest number of bankruptcies (315) in 2021 was recorded in the trade sector.

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