Please visit http://www.companyrescue.co.uk/ for confidential help and insolvency advice or email keiths@ksagroup.co.uk

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

KSA Group Sells Sharda Glass Business

KSA Group sells Hayes based Sharda Glass business just before Christmas 2013. More than 60 jobs saved. Full news released 2nd January.

Happy New Year From KSA Group

We hope that 2014 is a prosperous year for all of our readers and for the UK economy. 

UK growth is underway, some say it is lopsided growth, but recovery is surely better than recession in any shape or form? Personally speaking, I can see faster growth ahead than the general forecast consensus. The "internet revolution" and small and medium sized businesses will drive the economy along - even with lower Government spending.

My prediction is for full year growth of around 3.3% in 2014, unemployment will fall below 7% and there will be a (modest) move to raise interest rates perhaps as early as November 2014.

What's your prediction?

Please enjoy tonight and tomorrow and we look forward to speaking to our colleagues, friends and business acquaintances in January.

Keith Steven

Monday, 23 December 2013

How to help your clients in 2014

If you have a client call you up in 2014 saying they are really struggling and have just received a winding up petition what will you do?

a)   Say;  "I am sorry to hear of their situation but we are not insolvency practitioners so can't really help"

b)   Say; "please pay my bill first and then I can talk to you."

c)  Request an insolvency toolkit from KSA group, if you haven't already got one, and discover how you can stop your client and perhaps others going into liquidation and not paying your bill.

C is the right answer!

Our insolvency toolkit will demystify the jargon and help you understand all the options open to a struggling business, which, by the way, is not just administration or liquidation!

The toolkit will also show how you can earn EXTRA income from a client who is being rescued by us by providing services that are essential in any turnaround situation.

If you need urgent advice we will talk to all advisors for no charge.  To request a toolkit then please send an email to robertm@ksagroup.co.uk or for urgent advice on insolvency issues then call us on 0800 9700539 or 07974 086779

We have huge amounts of resources online as well at http://www.companyrescue.co.uk

Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas decoration company is in administration

Fuzzwire, a festive decorations company, has brought in administrators after experiencing cashflow problems and difficult trading conditions over the last few months. It has previously put up decorations in Canary Wharf, shopping centres like Lakeside and Bluewater, as well as some of the UK’s biggest property firms.

FRP Advisory has been appointed administrator after 190 jobs were cut earlier this week, with 65 of them full-time and the rest part-timers or self-employed contractors. On-going contracts have been transferred to Australian company, MK Illuminations, in order to ensure decorations will be taken down for property owners in January.

It is yet unknown whether contractors will be employed by MK Illuminations.

We are not involved in the administration and questions should be directed to FRP Advisory who are handling the administration.

If you are an employee of the business, and you're worried about what might happen in the future, then please listen to the video below as it will tell you your rights as an employee of a insolvent business.  There is a link at the end of the video to the Government website which expands further on what you need to know.







Thursday, 19 December 2013

Solicitor firm, HilliersHRW, is in administration due to PII

The solicitor firm, HilliersHRW, based in Herts and Bedfordshire has gone into administration. They were unable to pay their Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) and therefore could not continue to practise.

34 jobs were lost, however most employees have been transferred to nearby firms, leaving just seven members of staff to oversee the administration process. Hilliers had already given on-going work to other local firms by the time FRP Advisory was appointed administrator on the 9th December.

The firm requested an extended Professional Indemnity Insurance period from the end of October and were allowed to continue working with existing clients but not take on any new contracts. However, Hilliers were unable to get cover ahead of the 29th December deadline, therefore chose to appoint administrators.

According to the SRA, 185 firms have requested extended Professional Indemnity cover before the deadline, revealing that 153 firms would go bust if they could not secure cover by the 29th December. In its first year of new PII regulations, many firms may have to close after the deadline.

If your firm is struggling with high PII premiums and you need legal and insolvency advice, call Grant Jones on 07815 873370.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Good news for Dixons

The electronic retailer has reported that profits and sales are on the up, even after competing with Currys and PC World.

Dixons has struggled for the last few years alongside other high street retailers, like Jessop’s and Comet, but have come out fighting after reviewing price models and restructuring the company as a whole. It’s now planning to sell a million tablets this Christmas.

It has suffered losses of up to £83.5 million, largely due to Pixmania and Electroworld, its digital businesses that had been dragging the company down. Once it was able to split from them, Dixons has been focusing on completely updating the stores to bring a fresh lease of life and thankfully customers too.

Despite profits improving, shares dropped this morning on account of the recent debt figures as well as a lack of dividends.

Sebastian James, Chief Executive of Dixons, believes that the company can only improve and has ‘never looked better’.

Restructuring a business is a great way to identify financial issues and discover new ways to move the business forward. It can be very challenging for directors but also hugely rewarding if it allows the company to continue. For advice on cutting costs and dealing with cashflow problems, call us on 0800 9700539 for free confidential and honest advice.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Visit Company Rescue's News page

We have recently launched a News section on Company Rescue - keep up to date with the latest goings on in insolvency and business!

Help is at hand for retailers this Christmas and New Year

With the latest reports revealing lower than expected profits on the high street this December, it’s looking bleak for some as we head towards the New Year. Despite growing economic confidence, high street retailers are failing to see a sufficient increase in spending in the lead up to Christmas. According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), high street footfall in November has fallen below last year’s level by 4.2%. Worryingly, there has been an overall 2.9% drop across the general retail sector.

Researchers speculate that consumers have delayed their Christmas shopping trips in order to benefit from December sales. With wages failing to keep up with inflation, many customers are feeling the pinch and are holding off until the last minute. The consensus is that it’s been a slow start for retailers, however there is still time to catch up in the last week before Christmas (and then of course the January sales which begin for some retailers on Boxing Day).

Not surprisingly, growth in the non-food market over 2013 has come via online transactions, sparking the on-going (and inevitable) need for companies to have a good online presence.

If the lead up to Christmas hasn't been quite the miracle you’d hoped for, now is the perfect time to consider other options to help your business. The rent quarter may be coming up for some companies so it’s important to get your finances in order and take some time to review the business. Whether it’s cost-cutting, restructuring or securing a CVA with creditors, there are ways to help your company continue in the New Year.

Now is the time to start afresh and head into the New Year with support around you. We offer free, detailed guides on how to turnaround your company and can give you honest guidance, specific to your business.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Another customer safe from administration and in a CVA

A recent customer admitted other potential advisors were pushing for them to go into a pre pack administration, but with KSA's help, this business is in a CVA and will continue trading and returning money to creditors, including paying back a proportion of their £500k of tax liabilities to HMRC.

We were sent the following email:

All,

I just wanted to thank you all for your assistance with the CVA preparation.

With 100% of creditors voting in favour this is a testament to your experience and process in putting these together.

The last few weeks has been a nerve wracking time and timing has been close to the wire, but the end result means that we are now well positioned to execute our plans going forward to the benefit of all.

In deciding to go with KSA we had numerous other providers who were either cheaper or pushing a pre-pack route. You have delivered what you set out and certainly a much better outcome than administration.

Marie, a special thanks for your efficient and calm handling of all the issues that have arisen, and Andrew – your “mother of all spreadsheets” will now double as our operating budget for next year.

Finally, if you ever have any prospective clients who require a reference, I would be happy to talk with them.

Regards

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Bradford Bulls to go into administration again?

As previously mentioned (back in March and July 2012), the Bradford Bulls rugby club had been facing many financial issues and was on the brink of liquidation - the club was eventually taken over by millionaire businessman Mark Moore. However, bad news for Bulls fans as the latest reports have revealed the club is close to administration again!

Bradford Bulls has allegedly asked players to take a 10% pay cut to avoid falling into administration but they have refused. They are already running up huge debts and need to save over £400,000 to keep the club going.

League 13, the Super League Players' Association, is looking into the issue and is awaiting further information to try and help. They hope history won't be repeating itself for the Bradford Bulls.

If the club does go into administration, there is still a chance of using a CVA as an exit strategy. However, time will only tell whether the club can find sufficient funding to keep going.

Rail construction and infrastructure company, Metropex Group, is in administration

Begbies Traynor has been appointed administrator for the Metropex Group, a rail and underground construction specialist company based in London. Founded in 2004, the company has worked on the underground, providing stone and concrete for the rail structure as well as completing projects for Gatwick Airport and Birmingham New Street station. The Group revealed it has secured contracts between £50,000 and £3 million over the years, however trading stopped last month, from the 21st November 2013.

Metropex has been struggling to stay afloat since losing a significant amount of work from a contract and facing ‘challenging trading conditions’. Begbies Traynor will review the business and assets, focusing on ‘maximising the realisation of assets for creditors’. 2012 accounts show assets stood at £1.8 million with liabilities of over £1.7 million.

We are not involved in the administration and questions should be directed to Begbies Traynor who are handling the administration.

If you are an employee of the business, and you're worried about what might happen in the future, then please listen to the video below as it will tell you your rights as an employee of a insolvent business.  There is a link at the end of the video to the Government website which expands further on what you need to know.







Monday, 9 December 2013

SMEs in cashflow crisis

According to the latest figures from Everline (formally known as Wonga for Business), small businesses are currently experiencing cashflow problems and are very much concerned about the future. The short term lender for businesses revealed more than 250 SMEs surveyed have struggled with cashflow, with some admitting to delaying payments to suppliers and stopping marketing campaigns. 29% of respondents stated the lack of cashflow has threatened their business growth, with 81% struggling with a cash shortage of under £10,000 every month.

It can be difficult for SMEs to access lending in the current economic climate, as Funding for Lending reports have shown. 43% of small companies believe the whole situation is far worse than before the recession, with over half that have applied for loans in the last couple of years turned away at the door.

If you are having problems with cashflow, the best thing to do is to review  your current system in place and read our top ten tips to managing company cashflow problems (which includes a free download of our daily cashflow spreadsheet).

Cashflow can be a common issue with businesses but it is always best to address any issues before the situation gets worse. Remember turnover is Vanity, Profit is Sanity and Cashflow is reality. You can easily be a profitable business with growing turnover yet still run out of cash and become insolvent because you are unable to pay your creditors. In a growing economy this can become increasingly common as companies chase business but then don’t have the adequate financial controls in place.

In these situations short term lending is one way out of the problem but it is worth looking at other forms of financing and refinancing.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Video - What is a CVA?

Watch our video which explains what a CVA is and how it can help your company!


Thursday, 5 December 2013

Autumn Statement: George Osborne caps business rate to 2%

In today’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor has bid to cap business rates to 2% instead of the expected 3.2% (linked to RPI inflation). George Osborne admitted ‘business rates are too high’ and has also revealed plans to extend a rate relief scheme for small businesses until April 2015. Our previous blog asked whether rates would be frozen, in order to re-evaluate the current outdated system that, in some cases, ends up charging higher business rates than the rent itself.

Unfortunately, Osborne made no such promise to address this issue which many industry officials, including Business Secretary, Vince Cable, have tried to raise. Because of the system in place, high business rates have overtaken rent costs for retailers in particular, leaving them only just holding on.

How will the cap on business rates affect your business? If you’re a high street retailer, a cap on rates is certainly better than nothing, however, it’s still very clear that the system is not working very well and needs to be updated to reflect the appropriate rate charges against rent. Good news for some small businesses though as they can take advantage of the rate relief scheme until 2015.

Did you know that a CVA can allow you to vacate premises even if you have rent arrears? Rates can also be bound in the CVA.  See our page on retailer rescue for more information:

http://www.companyrescue.co.uk/company-rescue/guides/retailer

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

HMRC plans to cut nearly 3,000 jobs

Through a voluntary exit scheme, HMRC is planning to cut nearly 3,000 jobs across the UK, leaving only 1,000 jobs safe. Those at risk include four Welsh offices, 240 jobs in Northern Ireland, 80 in Devon and 150 in Scotland. While there is no indication of offices closing soon, staff were told their offices were not included in HMRC’s long-term plans. 

The reason for these job cuts is the result of customers taking advantage of HMRC’s online services. The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) are opposing the plans and will use the 90-day redundancy scheme to re-evaluate budgets and address any alternatives. They've already stressed that staff shortages have caused problems within HMRC. 

34,000 jobs have been cut since 2005 due to Government budgets and a further 10,000 jobs are to be dropped by 2015. HMRC states the latest planned job cuts concern fixed-contract workers only, not permanent staff. 

It could be viewed that staff shortages will only add to the increasing issue of HMRC failing to chase business debt, which has been blamed on the rise of so called “Zombie Companies”. It is important that HMRC recognises companies that can and should be saved against those that, quite frankly, should not be allowed to continue. Companies that haven’t paid their taxes end up taking business away from companies that HAVE paid their taxes. As such, HMRC need to look at companies that are on extended time to pay schemes and be ready to take action at the end of the period. The introduction of Real Time Information for PAYE returns should make this task easier and will stop companies from hiding their liabilities.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Hearts CVA approved by creditors

As mentioned previously, the Scottish football club had recently postponed a meeting with creditors to discuss using a CVA. Having suffered financial difficulty for some time, it’s now been revealed the CVA has been approved by creditors, including Ukio Bankas. However, the CVA still depends on whether the club can obtain 50% shares held by UBIG as well as agree to an appropriate sale arrangement

The fanbase, Foundation of Hearts, have put in a bid to become the largest shareholder of the club and they believe the CVA will bring Hearts out of administration. BDO have been appointed administrators, commenting, ‘this is a good result for Hearts but we clearly have some way to go before this deal is concluded.’

For more information on CVAs and how they can turn your struggling business around, click here: http://www.companyrescue.co.uk/cva-company-voluntary-arrangement


Monday, 2 December 2013

Car dealership, Verve Group, is in administration

Founded in 1998, the Verve Group has gone into administration after having financial problems with falling sales and an unsuccessful attempt to sell a van centre in Glasgow. There were three dealerships, one body shop and a van centre across central Scotland, based in North and South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, West Lothian and Glasgow. It is reported that 115 jobs will be lost with the remaining 10 staff helping administrators to wind down the business.

The business stopped trading before KPMG were appointed administrator, with reports revealing that vehicles have been repossessed by funders as well as franchise contracts ceased. 
Blair Nimmo, one of three appointed administrators from KPMG, said, ‘the company had an excellent reputation but has been experiencing serious operating challenges for some time and unfortunately could no longer continue as a viable business.’

Scotland has had a lower insolvency rate than the rest of the UK for a while now, with Begbies Traynor reporting a 13% fall in insolvencies. Interestingly, however, there has been a 23% rise in critically distressed businesses in Scotland. Read more about it here

We are not involved in the administration and questions should be directed to KPMG who are handling the administration.

If you are an employee of the business, and you're worried about what might happen in the future, then please listen to the video below as it will tell you your rights as an employee of a insolvent business.  There is a link at the end of the video to the Government website which expands further on what you need to know.







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