New figures from Deloitte show that the number of corporation insolvencies in the first half of this year rose by 50% on the same time last year but still remain lower than pre-Covid levels.

A total of 253 corporate insolvencies were recorded in Ireland in the first six months of 2022, up from 169 insolvencies the same time last year.

On a quarterly basis, 133 corporate insolvencies were recorded during the second quarter of this year.

This marked an increase of 11% when compared to the first quarter when 120 insolvencies were recorded.

But Deloitte noted that the 253 insolvencies recorded in the first half of 2022 represented an 18% decrease on the 310 recorded in the first half of 2019, before the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and related government supports for businesses.

David Van Dessel, Partner, Financial Advisory at Deloitte said that despite the increase in corporate insolvencies on an annual basis, the level of insolvencies in Ireland remains relatively low when compared with pre-pandemic levels.

He said the ability to warehouse revenue debt during the pandemic provided vital breathing space for many SMEs impacted by pandemic restrictions.

But he cautioned that Revenue has signalled that it will begin to seek repayment of these debts in 2023.

"In addition, it appears that the full effects of high inflation, soaring energy costs, global supply chain issues and labour shortages have yet to have any significant impact on corporate insolvencies in Ireland. We expect these factors to influence the insolvency numbers over the coming 18 months," Mr Van Dessel said.

Today's figures show that the services sector recorded the highest number of corporate insolvencies during the first half of the year at 167.

Deloitte said this represented 66% of all insolvencies recorded during the six month period and marked an increase of 129% compared to the same time last year, when the services sector recorded a total of 73 insolvencies.

50% of insolvencies recorded in the services sector related to financial services organisations (84 insolvencies), while the real estate sector recorded 33 insolvencies during the six month period, representing 20% of service sector insolvencies.

Meanwhile, the entertainment sector recorded 11 insolvencies during the quarter (7%), followed by arts and media with nine (5%) and technical and professional services with six (4%).

Fitness and beauty, health and social work, education and other services accounted for the remaining 24 insolvencies (14%).

Outside the services sector, the construction sector recorded 23 insolvencies during the first half of 2022, representing 9% of all insolvencies recorded during the period. This is a decrease of 26% when compared to H1 2021, when a total of 31 insolvencies were recorded in construction.

19 insolvencies were recorded in the retail sector in the first half of 2022, which is in line with the first half of 2021, when a total of 20 insolvencies were recorded.

The hospitality sector recorded 14 insolvencies during the first half of this year, slightly lower than the 17 recorded the same time last year.

Of the 14 hospitality sector insolvencies recorded so far in 2022, seven relate to restaurants, while four relate to bars, two relate to hotels and one relates to a catering company.

10 insolvencies were recorded in the manufacturing sector representing 4% of total insolvencies. The transport sector recorded seven insolvencies, while the wholesale sector recorded five.

Today's figures show that companies in Leinster recorded 183 insolvencies during the first six months of 2022, which represents 72% of total insolvencies. 45 were recorded in Munster (18%), with 18 in Connacht (7%) and seven in Ulster (3%).

Compared to last year, Deloitte said the biggest increase this year was seen in Leinster with an 83% rise. Munster and Connacht also saw an increase in the number of insolvencies while Ulster (ROI) saw a decrease from 10 to seven.

A total of 170 Creditors' Voluntary Liquidations (CVLs) were recorded during the first half of 2022, representing 67% of total insolvencies in the period.

This was followed by 58 Corporate Receiverships (23% of total); 13 High Court wind-up petitions (5% of total); nine Examinerships (4% of total); and four Small Company Administrative Rescue Process (SCARP) appointments (2% of total).

"The low uptake of the newly-introduced SCARP process is likely a result of companies continuing to avail of the debt warehousing scheme. We expect more companies to avail of SCARP once these debts begin to be repaid," David Van Dessel said.