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By October 17, 2020 Read More →

AGENDA WEST BUSINESS NEWS: Covid 19 causes more printers to call in the administrators, plus anger at Helloprint for taking FIVE YEARS to pay suppliers instead of 30 days

Incompetent management, bad debts or a lost client can all sink a business, but there’s a new one that Ian Carrotte is increasingly angry about: Covid-19.

“We are seeing on a daily basis perfectly viable businesses going to the wall because of the Government’s policies on suppressing the virus by shutting down entire economies,” he said, “shops, pubs, hotels, printers – you name it and firms are going bust like it was the Wall Street Crash. And it is all unnecessary as if we adopted the Swedish model, the economy would not be hit so bad. If you look at the statistics deaths per million there are no different from countries adopting the nuclear option and imposing lock-downs or Sweden that allows business as normal with sensible precautions.”

Westdale Press in administration

The print industry trade publication Print Week have reported the down fall of Westdale Press whose demise has been caused by Covid-19.

Jo Francis reported: “Administrators from Menzies were appointed at the Cardiff-based company yesterday (15 October) by managing director and owner Alan Padbury. Padbury told Printweek that he had strived to find a way to save the business, which employed around 85 staff. It previously had sales of £13m but had been ‘limping along’ at about £8m this year.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said the firm was highly respected but had been made unviable by the economic fall-out from the government’s business shut-downs.

He said: “I know the owner had fought long and hard to save the business even selling his car to raise cash and had tried every avenue there was. Sadly this is becoming a common event: viable businesses destroyed by the way the Government has handled this crisis.”

Creditors meeting for Publishing House

Insolvency practitioners Lisa Jane Hogg and Gemma Louise Roberts of Wilson Field in Sheffield have set a date on October 26, 2020, for a meeting of creditors for the Sunderland based firm Ogilvie Publishing.

Ogilvie Publishing was established in 2001 following a UK management buy-out from Houston-based Hart Energy. Ogilvie published three newsletters on the oil and gas industry:  E&P Daily, European Offshore Petroleum Newsletter and Asia Oil and Gas Newsletter.

One of the aspects of the Covid-19 crisis is the knock on effect to the oil trade. Industry commentator Arthur D Little said: “With the oil and gas industry currently locked into a cycle of oversupply, low prices and volatility, the economic downturn created by the COVID-19 crisis is likely to deal a major blow to many companies. Investors have found the sector increasingly unattractive over the past 10 years. Any further, prolonged period of low oil prices is likely to see them divert their capital elsewhere as the traditional oil and gas business model becomes even riskier and less commercially attractive.”

Ian Carrotte said the bottom had fallen out of the oil industry which has caused ripples across multiple sectors from redundancies to publications covering the business.

More jobs go in Belfast

The Irish Times have reported on the downfall of Ards in the city of Belfast. Gary McDonald the newspaper’s business editor reported: “Forty jobs will go after long-established Newtownards firm Peninsula Print & Design in Newtownards went into administration. The family-run company blamed the decision on the ‘catastrophic downturn in business’ over the last six months and also the ‘inestimable impact’ of the tragic loss of its founder and managing director Gary Withers in May. Peninsula provided print services for organisations across the business spectrum – from large multinationals and government departments to small businesses and self-employed sole traders.

“The company said that while every effort was made to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 by utilising the government furlough scheme, a significant drop-off in new orders meant the administration process was the only way forward.”

Ian Carrotte commented that it was another case of a viable business hit by a number of factors but finished off by the way Stormont had enforced Westminster’s Covid-19 rules.

Anger over Helloprint’s ‘antics’

Earlier this year the owners of Helloprint contacted ICSM Credit’s Harry Mottram complaining about his story on ICSM’s website.

They wanted a positive spin to be put on their business rather than the one also reported in Print Week by Jo Francis over the online print firm’s request to suppliers to be paid over five years rather than the usual 30 days.

Based in Holland but with a wide base of customers and suppliers including many in the UK the firm operates online by taking orders with upfront payment unlike traditional printers. It was this aspect that so infuriated the industry as the company had managed to run up millions of Euros in debt with suppliers.

Now Helloprint have announced they have had fresh funding which means they can continue in business. Print Week reported in September: “Earlier this year the print aggregator experienced a massive drop-off in sales and asked its print suppliers to help it survive by either accepting a percentage of what they were currently owed, or a deferred payment of the total amount plus interest, to be paid over five years.”

Jo Francis reported that the MD Scheffer had said that fresh funding of €5m (£4.5m) had now been secured over the summer, and “everything is back on track” blaming a 90% drop in orders on Covid-19.

“I note that Scheffer has blamed Brexit along with a software problem on their website,” said Ian Carrotte, “but they take cash up front and then take time in paying suppliers. They still owe creditors millions and these antics prompt real anger. You only have to see the comments on Print Week’s website about the story to realise how the print industry feels about this. I urge suppliers not to supply them with goods as their track record is terrible.”

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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