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40% of Portugal’s Restaurants File for Insolvency

Within Portugal, almost 40% of restaurants and bars and 18% of tourist accommodation providers intend to file for insolvency according to a survey by the Portuguese Hotel, Restaurant and Similar Association (AHRESP).

The groups monthly report states that “in the food and beverage sector, 38% of companies are considering filing for insolvency, given that many restaurants are unable to bear the cost of their overheads such as personnel, utilities and suppliers.

Of the companies surveyed in June, more than 24% said they had recorded losses of over 40%, 22% said that year-on-year they had lost 60% of their average annual income while a further 12% recorded overall loses of over 90%.

The AHRESP survey also commented that access to the simplified lay-off to support the payment of wages “has been constant since April,” with more than 87% of companies applying for help. In May this rose to 93% while in June the figure was 76% and about 69% will still need supplementary support during July.

In June the survey revealed that more than 17% of companies were unable to pay their staff at the end of the month and a further 15% of restaurant owners could only provide partially payments.  Moreover, more than 22% of companies stated that they will have to lay off staff by the end of the year, while 70% of those questioned say they are unsure whether they will be able to maintain a full workforce at the end of the year.Without the lay-off support system in July, more than 54% of companies said they will be unable to pay wages at the end of the month.

With regard to tourist accommodation companies over 20% remained closed and throughout the month more than 47% of companies in this sector registered zero occupation: the remainder indicated an occupation rate of up to 25%.

The high summer season from July to September is a cause for concern as 46% of companies do not expect an occupancy rate above 25%, while 17% of companies expect an occupation of between 25% and 50%.

AHRESP questioned 1,418 companies between the 29th of June and 1st of July.

Samantha Gannon

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