Axminster’s darkest day

PUBLISHED: 14:47 05 March 2013 | UPDATED: 15:16 05 March 2013

Axminster Carpets employees in Axminster on Saturday morning. Photo by Terry Ife ref mha 8541-09-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Axminster Carpets employees in Axminster on Saturday morning. Photo by Terry Ife ref mha 8541-09-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Archant

Carpet factory goes into administration. 300 workers being made redundant. Josh Dutfield: “It could not be avoided.”

Axminster Carpets Ltd has entered administration, it has been confirmed.

Around 300 workers are to be made redundant.

Operations in Axminster are to be downsized and yarn production is to cease at Buckfastleigh.

A statement said the decision follows a sharp increase in raw material prices, the closure of a loss making subsidiary and a slight downturn in sales as a result of the continuing economic difficulties facing the UK.

Josh Dutfield, group managing director of Axminster Carpets, who has been credited locally with doing everything he possibly could to stay positive during an extremely difficult time, said: “Trading has been difficult and, although it saddens the board to make the decision to enter administration, it could not be avoided.

“The management have been working with key suppliers, creditors and lenders to resolve the company’s financial difficulties and, whilst the last few weeks have been stressful, the company managed to pay the wages yesterday.

“We are now committed to working with the administrators to asses all viable options for the future of the business and achieve the best possible outcome for all concerned and most importantly the staff.”

Benjamin Wiles, Geoffrey Bouchier and David Whitehouse, all of Duff & Phelps, have been appointed joint administrators.

The statement said: “The administrators continue to assess the company’s financial position and explore all potential options to maximise the realisations for the company’s creditors including a sale of the business.

“However, whilst this assessment takes place, the decision has been taken to downscale the carpet manufacturing operations and cease yarn production.

“Consequently, the joint administrators have had no alternative other than to make approximately 300 employees redundant at the Axminster and Buckfast sites. Some 100 employees have been retained by the administrators.

“The factory outlet stores remain open for business as usual and the company will attempt to fulfil existing customer orders where possible. The main suppliers have already offered their continued support for the business during the administration.”

Benjamin Wiles said: “We recognise the importance of the business to the local community and will be seeking to work closely with management and all key stakeholders to restructure the business where possible, including the possibility of selling all or part of the business.”

Any creditors or customers with queries or if you are interested in buying the business should contact Duff & Phelps by email at the following address:

AxminsterCarpets@duffandphelps.com


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