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Payment Default Risks Remain a Crucial Issue for Businesses Across Europe
Date:4/27/2010

AMSTERDAM, April 27, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Payment defaults in winter 2010 remain above 2008 levels resulting in heightened focus on credit risk management throughout Europe. Respondents to the Atradius Payment Practices survey have expressed marginal improvement in payment behaviour of domestic and foreign buyers in some markets, but in most cases these improvements may reflect the response to tighter, more diligent credit management practices and are in some cases offset by continued weakness in other areas.

The "Atradius Payment Practices Barometer", a twice-yearly survey of around 1,500 businesses in eight European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden), conducted for Atradius by the market researcher Heliview, reveals:

- German companies set the shortest payment term in the EU, Italian set the longest

Average payment terms remain relatively stable but trend is towards shorter payment terms. German companies set the shortest payment terms (19 days on average), followed by Danish and British companies (26 days). Italian companies set the longest payment terms (average 60 days).

- Domestic payment behaviour in Sweden and Denmark worsens, improves in Great Britain and France

Danish and Swedish responses suggest continued
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