Soaring material costs blamed for Midlands contractor’s collapse


The 122-year-old firm, which collapsed on Friday, as first reported by CN, had suffered falling margins on current jobs and viewed future work as unviable. A statement from joint administrator Leonard Curtis Business Rescue & Recovery said: "Current volatility in availability and prices of construction materials made the completion of existing contracts on site and any new contracts in the near future unprofitable and therefore unviable."

Material costs have risen by more than 10 per cent in the past year, according to the government, and surveyors have forecast prices will rise by a further 10 per cent over the next 12 months.

The administrators said disruption caused by the pandemic had also "further complicated matters" and caused delays to projects. They confirmed that 44 staff had been made redundant, adding that the focus was now on winding down the company to get the best outcome for creditors.

The £30m-turnover company, which built Carillion's HQ, worked across the private and public sector, taking on jobs in the education, healthcare, industrial and commercial markets worth up to £7m.

CN understands the company pulled back from bidding for new jobs around a year ago.

AM Griffiths’ latest set of accounts for the year to 31 March 2020, filed four months ago, showed a £305,000 profit after tax on revenue of £30.1m with £1.7m of cash in the bank. It paid out a £410,000 dividend to its shareholders.

The company claimed up £120,000 in furlough cash from the government between the end of November 2020 and end of May 2021, according to HMRC.

SOURCE: CONSTRUCTIONNEWS


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