In total, 353 businesses were put into administration during the first two months of the year, compared to 381 in the previous year, according to Real Business’ analysis of Business Sales Report‘s records.However, the North of England recorded 92 administrations in the first two months of the year – a 46 per cent increase compared with 2013. The North West was particularly badly hit, with 71 businesses going into administration, a disproportionally high amount compared to its economic output. The average size of the fixed assets of businesses being put into administration in the UK fell from £7m to £4m over the same period (14 per cent of business that had gone into administration had not reported fixed assets to Companies House at time of administration). The decline in the size of business was caused by a lower number of large retail and property businesses becoming distressed. In the first two months of 2013 several were put into administration, including music retailer HMV, which had assets listed at £217m, Qhotels Group at £516m, and shopping centre developers Agora Shopping Centres at £256m and Cbre Britannica St Helens at £82m. By contrast, January and February 2014, were notable in the lack of businesses in the £100m and above asset bracket getting into problems, although property investment firm Landmaster Properties went into administration in late February with fixed assets of over £584m.
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