Over 7% of Italian firms late with payments

Delays often harbinger of bankruptcy, as crisis bites

Over 7% of Italian firms late with payments

Milan, March 12 - Last year saw a steady rise in the percentage of companies in recession-hit Italy making late payments to suppliers, according to new figures released on Tuesday. In the period October-December 2012, 7.1% of businesses took more than 60 days to pay their suppliers, up from 5.7% in the second quarter and 6.1% in the third quarter of the same year, business analysis agency Cerved said. The same source said such cases ''frequently led to default''. In the last quarter of 2012, Italian companies took on average 85 days to pay suppliers. The increase in payment delays affected businesses of all dimensions. However large companies were the worst affected, with the percentage making late payments increasing to 8.2% from 6.9 in July-September.

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