Despite the long-running recession, the financial health of many UK businesses actually improved significantly during 2009, according to the latest Insolvency Tracker report from information services provider Experian.
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According to Experian, the average financial strength score for British business rose from 79.46 in January 2009 to 81.37 in December 2009, helped by an overall improvement in supplier payment times.
The annual rate of business insolvencies also increased at as lower rate when compared to 2008. Business failures peaked at the start of 2009, but a sharp fall in the second half helped mitigate some of this impact.
Experian figures show that total insolvencies increased by 12.9% in 2009, compared to a 29.3% increase in 2008.
It was north-eastern England that saw the highest levels of insolvencies last year, while Scotland saw the lowest rate.
Businesses operating in Greater London struggled with financial stability, said Experian, although they also saw the biggest improvement in their financial strength over the course of the year.