One-third of SMEs are carrying no debt - Central Bank

One-third of small and medium-sized enterprises in Ireland carry no debt, according to new research from the Central Bank.

The Central Bank research says the data suggest that incidences of extremely high indebtedness (a Debt to Turnover ratio greater than one) are not as common in the SME population as might be expected given the extent of diculties in loan repayment.

The data show that in Ireland, 83.7 per cent of SMEs have a Debt to Turnover ratio of less than one third. Of the 16.3 per cent of firms that have a Debt to Turnover ratio greater than one third, just seven per cent of firm having a ratio of more than one.

The study also shows that medium-sized firms are more indebted that smaller companies with 11 per cent of larger SMEs having a debt to turnover greater than one.

The highest number of very indebted SMEs were recorded in the hotels and restaurants sector while the business and administrative and construction sectors had the lowest number.

The Central Bank’s research uses survey data from two recent Red C SME credit demand surveys, which were commissioned on behalf of the Department of Finance.

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