Tide turns for Swedish bankruptcies: report

The number of Swedish firms filing for bankruptcy declined by 14 percent in January in comparison with the corresponding month in 2009. 484 companies went to the wall during the month.

Tide turns for Swedish bankruptcies: report
Image: Ilker

It is primarily in Stockholm and Skåne, and within the retail sector, that bankruptcies have eased off, the new statistics from credit rating firm UC show.

“The improved situation for retail in comparison with a year ago clearly shines through in the statistics, especially in the big city areas,” said Roland Sigbladh at UC in a statement.

The retail sector expressed confidence in the future as consumption remains high with demand continuing to increase, the report shows.

Sweden fares well in a comparison with Scandinavian neighbours Norway, and especially Denmark, which experienced a 52 percent increase in 2009. Denmark’s bankruptcy levels are now close to the Swedish levels despite having a far smaller business sector.

The Scandinavian average came in at an increase of 34 percent in 2009.

“Bankruptcies in Sweden have in recent years been modest in a Nordic perspective. In the other countries, bankruptcies have increased by between 65 and 195 percent since 2006, but the equivalent figure for Sweden is only 25 percent,” Sigbladh said.

“The statistics covering business failures in 2009 show that Swedish companies have survived the financial crisis relatively well,” he concludes.

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Norwegian’s subsidiaries in Denmark and Sweden go bankrupt

The struggling low-cost airline Norwegian has reported its staffing subsidiaries in Denmark and Sweden have filed for bankruptcy, meaning roughly three quarters of its pilots and crew will lose their jobs.

Norwegian's subsidiaries in Denmark and Sweden go bankrupt
A Norwegian Air Shuttle plane: Photo: Norwegian

In a press release issued on Monday afternoon, the airline said that the financial support packages offered by the Swedish and Danish government had not been sufficiently generous to keep the subsidiaries which employ pilots and cabin crew in the two countries solvent. 

”The impact the Coronavirus has had on the airline industry is unprecedented. We have done everything we can to avoid making this last-resort decision and we have asked for access to government support in both Sweden and Denmark”, said Norwegian's chief executive Jacob Schram in the statement.  

“Our pilots and cabin crew are the core of our business and they have done a fantastic job for many years.”

“It is heart-breaking that our Swedish and Danish pilot and cabin crew subsidiaries now are forced to file for bankruptcy, and I’m truly sorry for the consequences this will have for our colleagues,”  Norwegian's chief executive Jacob Schram said in the statement.  

“We are working around the clock to get through this crisis and to return as a stronger Norwegian with the goal of bringing as many colleagues back in the air as possible.”

The company said it was also immediately ending staffing deals with the OSM Aviation, which supplies it with crew based in Spain, UK, Finland, Sweden and the US.

The company said that 1,571 pilots and 3,134 cabin crew would be affected by the move, with only the 700 pilots and 1,300 cabin crew based in Norway, France and Italy being kept on.

In the release, the company blamed the “the lack of significant financial support” from the Swedish and Danish governments, which it contrasted with that of Norway, which has agreed to pay “all salary related costs” while staff are furloughed. 

The companies declared bankrupt include: 
Norwegian Pilot Services Sweden AB
Norwegian Pilot Services Denmark ApS
Norwegian Cabin Services Denmark ApS
Norwegian Air Resources Denmark LH ApS