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Covid-19: French companies created during the health crisis in difficulty


After two extraordinary years, the number of companies in difficulty in France jumped in 2022, according to data from commercial court clerks, which point to the fragility of companies created during the health crisis. Over the period from January to November 2022, the National Council of Commercial Court Clerks counted 315,824 companies removed from the Trade and Companies Register, which therefore ceased their activity, a figure up 14% compared to the same period of 2021.

The number of companies in difficulty has climbed by 53% over one year and stands at 34,082, a figure which includes the opening of proceedings for judicial liquidation, receivership and safeguard. However, it remains 17% below 2019 levels, the study said.

“The “wall of bankruptcies” is not relevant”

For the president of the National Council of commercial court clerks, Thomas Denfer, “the “wall of bankruptcies” is not topical”, but “the negative dynamics observed for all of our indicators call for vigilance” . “In question, the delayed effects of the health crisis, with the gradual cessation of support measures deployed from 2020, and a difficult economic and geopolitical context (war in Ukraine, rising energy prices, inflation… )”, explains the study whose data was compiled and processed by the Xerfi Institute.

It is above all the e-commerce and home delivery sectors that are suffering from the “backlash from the one-off windfall effects created by the health crisis”, with eight companies deregistered in 2022 out of ten created since 2020. More generally, 30% of the companies delisted this year had been created between 2020 and 2022.

The Banque de France announced, earlier Thursday, a strong rebound of 49% in the number of business failures in France in 2022 over one year, after the drop observed during the health crisis. “In 2022, the number of business failures normalizes without however reaching pre-Covid crisis levels”, she specifies: it is 20% lower than that recorded in 2019.

At the microphone of BFM Business, the deputy president of Medef, Patrick Martin, estimated that the level of business failures was reaching “more or less the level of loss experience for business failures that we knew before the Covid crisis” and that the situation was not, however, “dramatic”.

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