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By September 15, 2020 Read More →

AGENDA WEST BUSINESS NEWS: Olympic torch firm goes bust; Mercedes dealer in pre-pack; alarm over logistic firm; ICSM Credit slams Southampton’s Council over boat show ban

Pic: NBC

Unemployment has risen sharply this year rising to 4.1% compared to 3.9% in July last year as a percentage of the workforce. Around 695,000 people lost their jobs since the Covid-19 crisis hit with the levels of unemployment expected to rise further as the furlough scheme ends next month.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said unemployment levels reflected the economy and in particular how businesses were fairing. “It’s an ill wind,” he said, “with numbers this high the recession is inevitable and firms need to tighten their credit control in order to survive and downsize if possible to weather the coming slump.”

Pic: PA

Torch snuffed out

Premier Sheet Metals of Exhall in Warwickshire has gone into liquidation after 25 years in business. The automotive firm hit the headlines when they were commissioned to make the 2012 London Olympic torch.

The company have blamed ‘conditions within the automotive sector which were further compounded by the onset of Covid-19 and a fall in sales had affected its cash flow.’

Their main business was to make sheet metal parts for the automotive sector, which has been struggling throughout the pandemic with levels of car sales down to those of 1954. Back in 2012 the firm had made 8,000 Olympic torches for the London Olympics.

In a statement the firm said: “Following a review of the company’s financial position and cashflow requirements by the company’s advisors, it became apparent that Premier Sheet Metal (Coventry) Ltd could not generate sufficient sales and in turn cash flow to enable it to continue to trade. Therefore, very regrettably, and after a period of over 25 years of trading, the decision was taken to commence the process of placing Premier Sheet Metal (Coventry) Limited into liquidation.”

Other companies within the group remain unaffected.

Pre-pack for Mercedes dealership

Motor Transport’s Chris Tindall has reported on a rescue deal for Mercedes truck dealer Roanza.

He reported: “The administrator of Mercedes truck dealer Roanza has confirmed that the sale of parts of the business and its assets earlier this week, which saved 340 jobs, was a pre-pack deal. Grant Thornton UK LLP in Manchester was appointed to the Warrington truck and van dealer, as well as subsidiary Premier Vehicle Rental, on 8 September.

“Roanza operated full service Mercedes truck and van dealerships under franchise from eight sites. In a letter to customers, new chairman Sid Sadique.”

Concerns at logistics firm

The journalist Chris Tindall has also noted concerns over losses at Arcese UK. He said: “Turnover at Tilbury and Daventry-based business Arcese UK fell by almost 8% last year, although it said a more focused commercial approach started to bear fruit in the latter part of 2019.

“The logistics and freight forwarding company reported revenues of £23m in the year ending 31 December 2019, a reduction of 7.9% on 2018. Pre-tax losses deepened during the period, to £985,000 compared to £939,000 the year before.”

Anger over boat show ban

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit has strongly criticised Southampton City Council’s director of public health Debbie Chase for cancelling Southampton Boat Show the day before opening last week.

“The organisers had put in place all the Covid-19 precautions required by law,” he said, “but the council still pulled the event hours before it was to take place on September 11. It’s beyond a joke. The authorities don’t seem to understand that businesses need showcase events to generate sales and without sales there is no business and no jobs.”

The organisers of BOATS2020 condemned the city council saying that, despite close collaboration with Southampton City Council to ensure the event complied with Covid-19 requirements, the council cancelled the event the night before.

Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, said: “We are truly perplexed as to why we are unable to run the show at least until Monday in line with the government restrictions imposed yesterday. The global pandemic and unprecedented times mean that the latest circumstances are beyond our control. Public health and safety come first and naturally, as the show organiser, British Marine must comply with all guidance.”

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel – while at the moment there’s a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach – ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

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