The shocking toll on the print industry as revealed by the blonde doyen of the business Jo Francis in Print Week as firms great and small collapse in late 2020

The shocking toll on the print industry as revealed by the blonde doyen of the business Jo Francis in Print Week as firms great and small collapse in late 2020

Ian Carrotte of the credit intelligence group ICSM Credit with long standing roots in the print business said Jo Francis had revealed the staggering losses in 2020 for the sector in a damning summing up of all that's wrong with the economy.

"Jo has revealed to the readers of Print Week something that I have been banging on about for months," he said, "the cure for Covid-19 is worse than the virus. Thousands, indeed millions are losing their jobs, thousands of firms have gone bust and the economy is in tatters. It didn't have to be like this if common sense measures to tackle the virus had been adopted and business could have been left intact. Instead it's been a disaster."

Print Week

Jo Francis' report with this sweeping statement: "A wave of company insolvencies has spelled the end for a historic Staffordshire print business with a history dating back almost 120 years. Commercial printing business Wood Mitchell Printers went into voluntary liquidation last month with BV Corporate Recovery & Insolvency Services handling the case.

"The Stoke-on-Trent firm had a massive pension deficit of nearly £7.7m which made up the bulk of its estimated total deficiency of £7.45m. Trade creditors were owed less than £60,000. Its assets and vehicles have been sold by Eddisons in an auction."

Ian Carrote said this was typical of a  family business begun more than 100 years ago that was viable until the Government's actions in 2020 had made business impossible. He pointed to the firm Odessa UK who had emerged out of the Odessa print Group's collapse in 2019 were now seeking a CVA as an example of how the business was on its knees.

Phoenix worries

One of the ongoing problems is debt said ian Carrotte. He said that historically phoenix firms dumped debt and restarted under a new name but with the same team in management which he said 'stank' as far as suppliers were concerned but was part of the cycle of business.

Jo Francis reported: "Another large-format printer, Leicester-based Retail Print Solutions, has also gone into voluntary liquidation. The case is being handled by Springfield Advisory. The business has an estimated total deficiency of £2.7m, which includes £333,267 owed to trade and expense creditors, £165,067 in employee claims and £213,485 owed to HMRC. A new company operating from the same address, RPS Leicester Ltd, was set up in October and has since been renamed Swytch Graphics. A spokesperson at Springfield Advisory said that offers for the assets of Retail print Solutions were “under consideration” but nothing had been agreed as yet."

West Country woes

Print Week reported: "In the west country, Wincanton Print Company went into administration with Begbies Traynor last month. The business was subsequently sold in a pre-pack deal to Wincanton Digital Print, a new company set up over the summer by Charlotte Taylor and Stephen Taylor, who were also the company secretary and director of Wincanton Print Company.

"Begbies Traynor said the sale had secured the future of a business that has traded for over 26 years and had saved 22 jobs out of a total of 32, 'providing service continuity to the company’s long-established client base'."

Joint administrator Julie Palmer commented: “This is a positive outcome for a long-established business within the Somerset community, given the current climate following the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The decision of the director to take early and decisive actions has not only resulted in the rescue of 22 jobs but has also resulted in safeguarding the long-term future of the business. It shows that, notwithstanding the challenges many business owners face, the rescue procedures available can preserve a business to be able to prosper going forwards.”

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 or email Ian at 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.

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