Coface has warned of increasing risks within the credit insurance sector as it revealed growth figures showing a slowdown in its business.

The company predicted an increasingly risky credit environment as tougher economic conditions make more companies go bust.

Its UK operation is building up its debt-collecting activities to tackle the conditions.

The company's marketing specialist, Suzanne Teo, said: "The economic slowdown means companies may default or might not be able to pay invoices on time.

"We feel debt collection will become more important."

The UK arm of the French-based group achieved 13% growth in turnover over the first nine months of the year.

No comparison figure from last year was available for the UK.

However, overall, the group's turnover growth slowed from 14.9% in the first half of last year to 10.1% in the first nine months of this year.

Coface UK is one of the largest credit insurers in the country. It employs 150 people and has more than 1,300 insurance clients.