Galway businesses sixth quickest to pay their bills

Businesses in Galway are the sixth quickest in the country to pay their bills in the first half of this year, according to latest research.

The Republic of Ireland paid its bills two days quicker on average during the first six months of the year when compared with the same period last year, according to the latest insight from Experian®, the global information services company. Despite this, Experian’s analysis reveals Ireland is still paying seven days later than its northern counterparts. Analysis also reveals that businesses in Galway are sixth quickest to pay bills in the second quarter of 2010.

During the first six months of the year, businesses in the Republic of Ireland paid their invoices 26 days beyond terms, two days faster than the first six months of 2009. However, Northern Ireland’s businesses paid their bills 19 days beyond terms, an improvement of three full days on the 2009 half yearly average of 22 days beyond terms.

By analysing the payment records of tens of thousands of businesses in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, including those owned by overseas companies, Experian is able to identify both if and, crucially, when they are likely to pay their debts. The latest Experian payment performance analysis reveals that:

Irish businesses paid their bills an average of 27.82 days beyond terms in the second quarter of 2010, which is a marginal year-on-year improvement However, the payment performance of Irish companies deteriorated in the second quarter, at 27.82 days beyond terms by one day, compared to the first quarter of 2010, when the average figure was 26.53 days beyond terms.

Payment performance among Irish companies has been moving in a negative trajectory, since Q3 2009, when the average payment duration was 25 days beyond terms.

In comparison, businesses in Northern Ireland paid their bills on average 19.78 days beyond terms in the second quarter of 2010 compared with 22.51 in the second quarter of 2009.

However, like their Irish counterparts, Northern Irish companies saw payment performance deteriorate by two days compared to the first quarter of 2010, when the average figure was 17.16 days beyond terms.

Kerry businesses were the quickest in the country to pay their bills, averaging just 19 days beyond terms in Q2 2010.

Businesses in Waterford were the slowest to settle bills, paying on average 37 days beyond terms.

Ciaran Canning, business development manager at Experian Business Information in Ireland, explains: "The continual movement of cash flow through a business is imperative to the stability and growth of any business. The culture of late payments in Ireland, despite the EU’s late payment directive, could be a factor that hinders growth. Irish SME’s in particular rely heavily on steady cash flow, but continues to be the biggest victims of the late payment culture.

“Overall, we continue to be paying significantly slower than in the UK and Northern Ireland.”

Experian’s payment performance data helps an organisation to identify whether it should do business with a customer in the first place. It also allows businesses to identify whether a customer is simply a serial late payer, or one whose payment performance is rapidly deteriorating - indicating its potential inability to meet future commitments.

Experian has the largest database of up-to-date commercial payment data in Ireland, which is extracted from more than 6,500 ledgers processed every month.


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