Business insolvencies up sharply in Q3

Nearly 9,000 business failures were recorded this summer, whether in the form of safeguard procedures, receiverships or compulsory liquidations, 69% more than for the same period in 2021. We take a closer look at the 3rd quarter of 2022.

10,000 more procedures in one year

In a study published on October 11, specialist firm Altares reports a historic increase in business insolvencies in the 3rd quarter of 2022. More precisely, 8950 insolvency proceedings were opened between July 1 and September 30, marking a 69% increase on the summer of 2021. More than 70% of insolvencies were direct judicial liquidations, 23% judicial reorganizations and 2% safeguards. In all, some 33,000 jobs are at risk.

" With 10,000 more procedures over one year (+34%), France is returning to the insolvency levels of summer 2020, but is still a long way from the 53,500 procedures observed at the end of September 2019 ," says the firm.

All sectors are concerned

The rate of business failures reported by Altares is the highest in 25 years. All business sectors are affected: +200% in fast food, +115% in online sales, +109% in clothing. Industry (+85%), food (+141%) and bakery-pastry (+128%) are those recording the highest increase in defects.

The study notes that the youngest companies are the most vulnerable. Those aged between 0 and 5 years account for 45% of all insolvencies. Small businesses are also impacted, with VSEs with fewer than 3 employees accounting for three-quarters of insolvencies, and those with 3 to 9 employees for 1,500.

Differences can be observed geographically. Corsica saw the biggest increase in the number of defaults. In Q3 2022, the region recorded 54 companies in default, compared with 21 a year earlier. In contrast to Corsica, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region posted the best performance, with an increase of just 37%.


No major alert, according to Bercy

Despite the alarming figures, Bercy is not worried, pointing out that the number of sauvegardes, redressments and liquidations remains well below its 2019 level of around 53,500.

For his part, Thierry Millon, Director of Research at Altares, points out that " the situation is returning to normal. But the risk of a domino effect is real ".

It has to be said that the outlook for 2023 is not encouraging. Companies will have to cope with falling demand and rising energy costs.

" This scissor effect is dangerous, and could lead to thousands of companies closing their doors," Altares' director told Les Echos newspaper.

He does not rule out a further rise in insolvencies next year.