ICSM Credit News: Heidelberg quits Drupa; disqualified directors fined £80K; Eddie Stobart’s losses; and Ian Carrotte warns creditors ‘not to get into bed’ with ailing firms

Pic: Digital Labels and Packaging

ICSM Credit News: Heidelberg quits Drupa; disqualified directors fined £80K; Eddie Stobart’s losses; and Ian Carrotte warns creditors ‘not to get into bed’ with ailing firms

ICSM Credit’s Ian Carrotte has sounded the alarm bells over continuing to supply ailing firms when they are clearly in trouble. He cited the collapsing share price of fashion brand BooHoo as investors pulled the plug on the scandal hit rag trade firm over its sweat shop practices. His phrase was 'don't get into bed with a firm in trouble' as companies in trouble don't always pay their invoices.

“In the post Covid-19 business world everyone must take a hard look at who they are trading with,” he said, “any company – however well known – if they are trading irresponsibly, are on the slide or posting massive losses like Eddie Stobart did last year – then suppliers must do a reality check. ICSM Credit members who deal with all sectors of industry have a system of alerting fellow members of who may be insolvent or about to go bust – and our ‘I heard it on the grapevine’ system keeps suppliers from suffering bad debts.”

Motor Transport's Carol Millet reported this week that Eddie Stobart logistics made a £238 loss last year in what was described as 'difficult reading.' The full story is here: https://motortransport.co.uk/blog/2020/07/07/eddie-stobart-logistics-annual-results-make-difficult-reading-as-company-records-238m-loss/

Heidelberg’s problems increase

Drupa without Heidelberg seems unthinkable but that is exactly what is happening to the print industry’s global showcase trade fair next year.

Writing in the trade journal Print Week Jo Francis reported: “Heidelberg had a substantial presence in the brand new Hall 1 at the Messe Dusseldorf alongside partner companies including Masterwork Machinery and Muller Martini. However, this morning (8 July) Heidelberg made the bombshell announcement that it would no longer be exhibiting. The manufacturer said that it planned to focus on ‘new, virtual trade fair concepts and regional events.’”

The world’s largest manufacturer of printing presses said that taking part in Drupa 2021 had been “cancelled due to unforeseeable effects of Covid-19.”

Directors fined £80K or face prison

Print Week have also reported on two disqualified directors who have been ordered to pay more than £80,000 in a confiscation order, or face imprisonment. The trade journal reported: “Earlier this year Mark Bottjer, from Colchester, Essex, pleaded guilty to three counts of acting as a director while subject to a disqualification undertaking. Business associate Susan Linda Hearn of Great Oakley, Essex pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting Bottjer to breach his disqualification. The offences related to activities at Redbox Packaging Design Ltd and Boxperfect International Ltd.”

Print Week said that Bottjer had also formed another company, known as International Packaging Brands Ltd, and had made payment for its formation while he was restricted under the terms of his disqualification undertaking. They said: “Subsequently, during lockdown Confiscation Orders have been made at Chelmsford Crown Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act, with Bottjer ordered to pay £64,712.83, and Hearn ordered to pay £18,594.87. Both defendants have to pay prosecution costs. The penalty for default of payment is 12 months’ imprisonment.”

The full story can be read at https://www.printweek.com/news/article/disqualified-packaging-duo-hit-with-confiscation-orders

Wobbly airline

The BBC Business desk have reported that AirAsia is in real trouble according to their auditor Ernst & Young. The Beeb said: “Shares in the Malaysian-based airline fell by more than 17% on Wednesday after being halted earlier in the day. The airline’s founder and chief executive is tycoon Tony Fernandes, who also co-owns Queens Park Rangers (QPR) football club in the UK.

Ernst & Young highlighted AirAsia’s current liabilities already exceeded its current assets by 1.84bn ringgit ($430m; £340m) at the end of 2019, before the start of the pandemic. The Asian carrier’s financial performance and cash flow have been further hit by the grounding of its planes amid tight travel curbs and lockdowns said the BBC.

ICSM Credit has consistently warned suppliers to be wary of big names issuing large orders to suppliers out of the blue and to take a long look at firms ‘in financial trouble’ before agreeing to accept a purchase order. Earlier this year Flybe went bust owing a huge array of firms millions of pounds.

Retail casualties

Retail Research have reported on two more names hitting the buffers. Norville Group went into administration early in June after selling its nine Norville Opticians' practices the previous week. They said: “The firm's laboratories in Gloucester, Seaham, Bolton and Livingstone have been closed and 134 staff made redundant. The company failed to obtain financial support from anywhere, and, with nil revenue, had to close down.”

And they also picked up on the ‘restructuring’ of a Midlands firm. They reported: “Lee Longlands, the Birmingham-based upmarket furniture retailer, went into administration towards the end of June to enable the company to restructure and improve cash flow. The company continues to trade and outstanding orders will be met. There are six stores, mostly in the Midlands.”

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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