Prawn sellers, business lenders and builders hit the rocks while a famous chain of shoe shops struggle


Prawn sellers, business lenders and builders hit the rocks while a famous chain of shoe shops struggle

Great British Prawns have collapsed into administration this week with the impact of Covid-19 on sales being blamed. The Scottish firm had farmed millions of prawns at their Stirlingshire site and so bypassing the vast airmiles of importing them from Asia.

But the Covid-19 crisis caused their markets to dry up as restaurants stopped operating and an infection amongst their prawn harvest meant huge amounts of their products were spoilt.

Joint administrator Graeme Bain said: "Unfortunately the business had already ceased to trade prior to the appointment of administrators, and the majority of employees had been placed on furlough. Regrettably, with no ongoing trade, all 18 jobs at the business have been lost.”

Ian Carrotte commentated on the number of firms that supply restaurants have been destroyed by the shutdowns. “We have seen scores of firms such as suppliers of meat products and salmon call it a day as their markets have been destroyed by the Government’s shutdowns,” he said.

A peer to peer business lending outfit has gone into administration. Business Loan Network, formerly known as ThinCats, but has called in the administrators to protect the ongoing interests of its parent company ESF Capital. In a statement they said: "The directors of the company took this decision, having regard to the company’s present and likely future financial position, in order to protect the interests of its creditors as a whole."

Leicestershire construction firm Paul John Construction has appointed administrators after the pandemic hit its workload of groundworks. Gary Hargreaves and David Acland from FRP Advisory will run the company in the wind down.

A spokesperson for FRP Advisory said: “The company, which specialised in groundworks for the construction sector, has experienced significant financial challenges which left the business unable to meet its financial obligations. The joint administrators are proceeding with an orderly wind down of the business and are working with a specialist quantity surveying practice to extract value from the significant debtor ledger, whilst supporting affected employees in making their claims to the Redundancy Payments Service.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM has consistently warned suppliers of the retail sector about granting too much credit as it seems every week another famous name hits the rocks. Sometimes there are warnings that all is not well. In the last month Shoe Zone has recorded a revenue decline as losses increased during the six months to April 3.

He said: “Their revenues fell by 41% year-on-year to £40.4 million while recording a statutory loss before tax of £2.6 million as a result of tight cost control and increase in digital. With a 63% drop in revenue due to the impact of Covid-19 shutdowns they are strapped for cash. They’ve already shut 38 stores and are struggling as the Daily Mail has highlighted so all I’ll say is be careful when trading with retailers who are known to have cashflow problems.”

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