A marginal increase in corporate insolvencies was recorded in Ireland in 2020, according to the latest insolvency statistics published by Deloitte.

The total number of corporate insolvencies recorded in Ireland in 2020 was 575, representing a marginal increase of just 1% from 2019, when the total number recorded was 568.

Commenting on the figures, David Van Dessel, Partner, Financial Advisory at Deloitte said despite the adverse financial impact of Covid-19 on many sectors of the Irish economy, overall corporate insolvency levels in 2020 have remained in line with those recorded for 2019.

He said this can be explained by a number of factors.

"The Irish government has deployed a broad range of measures to support struggling companies and their employees throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

"Protection from creditors has also been improved through an increase in the minimum level of debt – €20,000 to €50,000 – necessary for a 'winding up petition,' from 21st August 2020," said Mr Van Dessel.

In addition to government supports, Mr Van Dessel said that many struggling companies continue to receive support from their banks, landlords and trade creditors, as the uncertainty caused by the pandemic has resulted in high levels of creditor forbearance.

The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement has also confirmed that it will have due regard to the impact of Covid-19 on companies who entered insolvency during the pandemic.

"The combination of all of these factors has, in our view, played a significant role in preventing a surge in insolvencies as company directors continue to attempt to weather the storm," said Mr Van Dessel.

Having said that, Mr Van Dessel said is clear that 2021 will pose "significant challenges" for companies, due to the latest Covid-19 restrictions.

"It is difficult to foresee how long this level of restrictions will be in place, and we expect some level of restrictions to apply for the first quarter of this year. This will have an impact on companies and their ability to survive," he added.