The construction site of a wooden single-family home. Finnish building construction companies have continued to enter bankruptcy proceedings at nearly unprecedented rates, indicate data published by Statistics Finland. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

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THE STRUGGLES of building construction companies exacerbated in August.

Statistics Finland has reported that bankruptcy proceedings were initiated last month against 42 building construction companies, representing a new high for what has already been a year of hardship for the sector.

Helsingin Sanomat highlighted last week that the monthly number of bankruptcy petitions has been as high only seven times since 2003, with the record of 53 occurring in February 2009.

Between January and August, bankruptcy proceedings have been initiated against 294 building construction companies, leaving the sector on track to experience its worst year since the early 2010s.

The struggles in building construction have also rippled to staffing agencies providing workers for the sector. Selekta Rakennus, for example, reported last week it has entered corporate restructuring after seeing its revenue plummet in the first six months of the year due to the slowdown in construction, with no indications of a quick recovery on the horizon.

The staffing agency said it expects to report around 4.5 million euros in annual revenue, a drop of almost six million euros from 2022.

Statistics Finland on Wednesday revealed that the number of new bankruptcy proceedings across sectors surged by more than 20 per cent year-on-year to 283 in August, marking a new high since the eurozone crisis of 2013–2014.

“The number of companies that have been subject to bankruptcy proceedings in the past 12 months has risen to the level of the eurozone crisis in 2013–2014 but not as high as during the financial crisis of 2009,” commented Tommi Veistämö, a senior statistician at Statistics Finland.

Juhana Brotherus, the chief economist at Yrittäjät, pointed out that the increase in new proceedings has slowed down since July, when the year-on-year increase was as high as 50 per cent. The number of bankruptcies, he predicted, will remain high for the rest of the year before the situation eases as a result of a turnaround in economic development and interest rates.

“This year, we will end up close to the figures of the financial crisis, when more than 3,200 bankruptcies were recorded for the first and only time this millennium,” he wrote in his flash analysis.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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