Insolvency – Receiverships lowest of 1990s

The number of receiverships last year was the lowest since 1989, according to a KPMG survey released this week.

The survey showed there were 1,054 receiverships in 1998, an 11% decrease on the 1997 figure of 1,181.

But the firm warned of new signs that the number of receiverships would rise in 1999. KPMG head of corporate finance Mike Wheeler said the number began to rise in the second half of 1998, suggesting the top of the economic cycle was reached in the first six months.

‘There are now clear signs that economic conditions are not as good as they were 12 months ago. Last year, consumer spending was on the increase, business confidence was high, unemployment was falling and inflation was low. Today, inflation is the only one of these benchmarks to remain unchanged.’

He warned that domestic conditions were only part of the problem. ‘Many companies are expecting difficulties renegotiating contracts against a backdrop of reduced foreign demand,’ he said.

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