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“Rife” late and non-payment has led to thousands of company liquidations across Europe since the economic turbulence began, according to a report from Intrum Justitia.

In its European Payment Index 2013, the organisation looks at some of the common risks facing companies throughout the EU, as well as giving each member state an index-based score.

The UK ranks as the 16th riskiest country in which to do business, out of a total of 29, with its current risk score of 162 equating to a “high risk profile” where “immediate actions are necessary”.

In the report’s ‘In Brief’ section, the current situation throughout Europe is summarised as a battlefield of businesses trying to survive amid reduced consumer demand.

“At the same time, their efforts are being hamstrung by late and non-payment for products and services, which is serving as a brake on Europe’s ability to emerge from the fiscal slump,” the report adds.

Together, this has forced “tens of thousands” of businesses to instigate company liquidation proceedings, with many more still battling for survival amid reduced lending conditions and poor staff morale.