The level of Scottish companies entering insolvency has dropped 27% year-on-year, according to new research from KPMG.
The latest figures show there were 855 corporate insolvencies in 2013, the lowest figure since 2008 where there were 803, and considerably lower than the peak of 1,293 in 2011.
While the figures also show a marginal increase of 3% in the final quarter of 2013 compared to the last quarter of 2012, this follows a drop of 27% in Q3 and 45% in Q2 as compared to the previous year.
Liquidations appointments fell 29% in 2013, going from 1028 in 2012 to 730 last year, although appointment levels have increased by 10.3% since 2008.
The number of administration and receivership appointments decreased 10% from 139 (2012) to 125 (2013).
Blair Nimmo, head of restructuring for KPMG in Scotland, said: “As we enter 2014, these figures continue to show a slowing in the level of corporate insolvencies.
“For the first time since the start of the economic downturn, the annual number of business failures in Scotland is no longer in the thousands, which is another positive signal for the Scottish economy.
“Despite a marginal year-on-year increase in the final quarter of 2013, the overall trend suggests a healthier environment as we enter recovery and there is no doubt we are seeing fewer businesses experiencing severe financial difficulties.
“Businesses which have been through a restructuring process may be starting to feel more confident about their future prospects, while those which have carefully managed costs and cash during the past five years should be particularly well placed to pursue growth in the year ahead.”