220 jobs go as Swift Horsman falls into administration

Aaron Morby 11 years ago
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One of the country’s best known joinery and fit-out specialists Swift Horsman has fallen into administration.

PwC have been confirmed as administrators and have made all 220 staff redundant.

Karen Dukes, joint administrator and partner at PwC said: “The company has suffered as a result of cost overruns on recent projects, impacted by the difficulties in the construction sector.

“The directors have been attempting to sell the business, but no buyer could be confirmed and they had no option but to place the company into administration.

“Unfortunately, we have had to make all the employees redundant immediately and will now be seeking a sale of the business and assets.”

The bad news was broken to staff at the Hertfordshire head office last Friday when they were told go home because the business had run into cash flow problems.

Swift Horsman made its name as one of the industry’s best practice fit-out specialists, investing heavily in training and developing its own off-site manufacturing.

The £40m turnover specialist earned a place as preferred subcontractor for many major contractors and developers, working on the Shard and Heathrow Airport projects.

The fall-out will be felt on Mace’s jobs in London at the Mini Shard and British Library extension where Swift is working.

A source told the Enquirer: “Everybody is stunned by the news. It was a very close-knit team and is obviously a heavy blow to the staff coming just be Christmas.”

The firm suffered losses in recent years and is understood to have been hit by delayed retention recovery and late payment.

Established as a joinery business back in 1971, it branched into fit-out, developing an expertise in bathrooms and toilet pods.

Around 60% of work comes from the the south east but more recently established offsite manufacturing base in Scotland helped deliver national coverage.

Swift Horsman group began to run up losses of £4.8m in 2011 and £600,000 last year, forcing it to cut staff numbers from 463 to 300.

Other group firms include joinery business Artezan, drylining arm Swift Wall, fasteners & fixings distribution business Fix8, and a training company and innovation development firm.

 

 

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