A KILMARNOCK-based commercial interior fit-out and reburbishment contractor has appointed Wylie & Bisset as liquidator, after directors decided the business could not continue to trade, with all 24 staff made redundant.
Worksmart Contracts flagged the impact of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, and highlighted sharp cost increases and bad debts.
Its managing director, Steve Neilson, said: “The directors are devastated at having to make this decision.”
Wylie & Bisset managing partner Donald McKinnon said: “Following Worksmart’s turnover falling from circa £9 million to around £5m to £6m during the pandemic, the directors have arrived at the regretful decision to wind up the business as soon as practicably possible.
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“Worksmart’s directors have reached the view that the business cannot continue to trade due to a number of factors –competition is fierce and profit margins have been squeezed to the extent that the business is no longer financially sustainable.
“Furthermore, it appears that, in response to Covid, Brexit and the recession, Worksmart’s customers are tightening their purse strings, with the result that the level of work required to sustain the business no longer exists.”
Mr Neilson said: “Over the past few years, Worksmart has been challenged by several external factors, including recession, Brexit and, more recently, the ongoing Covid pandemic.
“The consequences of these factors have resulted in persistent cost increases for the business, including in materials, labour, utilities, and fuel resulting in the highest inflation rate in over 40 years. This increase in business operating costs has been coupled with recent national insurance and tax increases.”
He added: “The business has also had to cope with significant bad debts owed to us and, in general, slow payments from some clients over recent months.”
Mr Neilson noted that “in parallel to these cost increases”, revenue has been affected by “numerous and consistent client delays, uncertainty, and indecision in starting new project work, and workload has stagnated in recent months as a result”.
He added: “With the ongoing uncertainty in the general economy, we foresee this trend continuing and our work streams being further reduced and delayed. As a result of these factors, and despite our continued efforts, we have taken the regretful step to appoint a liquidator to help manage the situation.”
“Worksmart has secured and delivered over £100m of successful projects over 20 years and we have done our very best in delivering these projects for our clients. We have invested in our team, our business, our industry, our local supply chains, and our local communities throughout.”