The number of insolvencies rose by 13% in the first half of 2017 compared to the same time last year, new figures show today. 

The figures from business and credit risk analyst show that 569 companies were declared insolvent in the first six months of the year, up from 502 in 2016.

However, Vision-net also said that nearly 1,900 new company start-ups were formed, on average, each month in the first half of this year, up 6% on the same time last year. 

With the exception of June, company start-ups were up every month compared to 2016 - including by almost 20% in January and 9% in April.

Today's figures show that the most popular sector for company start-ups was professional services. 

Almost one in five new companies established in the first half of 2017 operated in the professional services sector. 

This was followed by finance, which saw an 18% rise in start-ups to 1,604 from 1,356 and social and personal services, up 50% to 1,298 from 865. 

But professional services companies were also the most insolvent, accounting for 19% of all insolvencies. 110 were declared insolvent in the first half of the year, compared to 99 in 2016, an 11% increase.

Vision-net also also said it was surprising to see a near doubling of insolvencies in the real estate sector.

It noted that 91 of property firms were declared insolvent in the first half of 2017, compared to 48 last year  - an increase almost 90%.

Meanwhile, Dublin accounted for the most insolvencies in the six month period at 43%, up 11% on 2016.

Cork was the second most insolvent county, followed by Galway, Limerick and Kildare. 

The only county not to record an insolvency in the first half of 2017 was Cavan.