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JJB Sports reveals drop in revenue of 17.7%

Troubled retailer JJB Sports has announced  a 17.7% falls in like for like sales at its stores in the 6 months to July 31st.  The company sought agreement with its landlords to close a further 43 stores as an amendment to its earlier company voluntary arrangement.

We have blogged on the JJB CVA before as this arrangement has been used to shut down poorly performing stores for the benefit of the whole company.

So what now for JJB?

The likes of JD Sports and Sports Direct are putting severe pressure on the firm and both of those companies seem to be thriving.  However, JJB Sports did say that the falling revenues were  a result of "selling out old and obsolete stock" and I suppose the saying is that "things will get worse before they get better!" 

In any restructure and rescue plan trading can be tough and sales may well suffer at first as the new structure and disciplines bed in.

That said, Christmas is key and by January/Feb 2012 it will be clearer whether JJB Sports has a better future in 2012.

MCR bought by Duff & Phelps

MCR, the restructuring and insolvency firm, has been bought by Duff & Phelps, the global financial services and advisory firm, based in New York.  Terms of the deal have not been made public.  For the 12-month period that ended June 30, 2011, MCR earned approximately £21m in revenue, excluding reimbursable expenses.   MCR have 19 Partners and directors and the whole business is being incorporated into Duff & Phelps.

KSA Group Liquidation Reports

These liquidation reports contains the following;

Notice of our appointment, a report to the creditors outlining the circumstances, a statement of affairs (SOFA), estimated deficiency account, summary of recent financial history, and a list of creditors.

These documents are sent out to all creditors as required.
Please find below the latest published reports

Sequent Power Services Limited 
Tree Frog Studio Limited 
Gasp Recruitment and Training Limited
Foremost Engineering Limited Liquidation
Assets Vin Rouge Limited
Jay Engineering Limited
Phoenia Consultants Limited
Bridgestone Surveyors Limited
Early Stage Executive Search Limited
Expansive Media Limited
Walsall Fabrications Limited
B.J Bates Electrical Limited

If you are creditor of one of these companies and have not received a report then please get in touch with our Gateshead office on 0191 482 3343

CVA and Corporation Issues

Many people worry that if they go into a CVA then they may not be able to carry over tax losses.  This is especially the case if the company is "hived down".  Please see an extract from Keith Rushen of Robinson Rushen's Guide to CVAs and Corporation Tax Issues which highlights the situation in relation to "hive downs".  A copy of which can be downloaded from our new page on CVAs and Corporation Tax:

Provided the beneficial ownership of the trade is held as to 75% or more by the same persons within two years after the transfer as before the transfer, the trade is not treated as permanently discontinued nor a new one set up. Trading losses and capital allowances, but not capital losses or non trade losses, may be carried across from the transferor company to the transferee and used against future profits from the trade transferred.

Luminar Group in administration

Following the suspension of shares Luminar Group Holdings Plc has gone into administration. 

Luminar Group operates 76 large nightclubs in the UK, The venues are divided into various brands, of which the main ones are Oceana, Liquid and Lava & Ignite.

The company is reportedly facing losses of £188m.  According to their website "Over 11 million people visit a Luminar nightclub every year."

The nightclub was in the news recently following the death of a clubber in an overcrowded club

Norian Beds in Administration

Norian Beds, which has sites in Trowbridge and Bridgewater,  has gone into administration putting 140 jobs at risk.   The business, Norian UK Limited, is a family run firm which has operated for 27 years.  The firms managers claim that the problems at the firm came when Focus DIY went into administration owing them £250,000.  The firm entered into a company voluntary arrangement from 2009 but no doubt the loss of that income made it no longer viable.  The company had a turnover of £18m in 2010.

This is yet another firm with over 100 employees that has gone into administration in the last two weeks.  It is likely there are others that have not been publicised.  In many cases the administrators do not want publicity as it may make it harder to collect money in on behalf of the creditors.

When a large customer goes into administration it is very hard.  So how can you protect yourself?  When dealing with large customers it is difficult to ask for tougher credit terms.  The best approach in this market is do not assume that a large household name customer is by definition a good credit risk.  Look for warning signs of a business in difficulty

If you supply a firm that is in administration look at our help for suppliers pages.

Larger Firms Staving off Insolvency

The number of UK businesses falling down increased in September, but larger firms are showing more resolve than expected, Experian has claimed.

The Insolvency Index, published by Experian, claims that businesses that employ more than 500 people have not fallen down in the same numbers as last September.  In total only 11 large firms became insolvent compared to 14 last September.  Mind you, with such low numbers, I would not want to read too much into the figures.

However, we have noticed an significant increase in the number of businesses with employees numbering in the range of 20-200 in the past 2 weeks which have been put into an insolvency process or simply stopped trading.

I list some below;

Fylde Dairies -  20 employees
Robertsons Interiors - 16 employees
S Robinson and Sons (Steelworks) -118 employees
Trade Manufacturing Facility Ltd (Pallets) - 138 employees
Parry Bowen (Builder)- 150 employees
JGP Engineering (architectural steelwork) - 50 employees
Discover Leisure ( caravan and motorhome retailer) - 70 employees

What is driving this?

The larger companies have been able to cut headcount over the last couple of years without too much impact on their profits. Whereas medium sized firms are operating on slim margins.  In addition, The SME's are perhaps not being supported as much by the banks and we are seeing more aggressive action by HMRC to recover overdue tax.  Many construction related businesses are feeling the pressure also.

Want to dissolve a limited company?

KSA Group have just updated their experts guides and are all available for free on our site at http://www.companyrescue.co.uk/

How to Rescue or Restructure Your Pub, Hotel or Inn Business - 104 pages
How to Turnaround Your Struggling or Insolvent Recruitment Business - 96 pages
The Experts guide on Creditors Voluntary Liquidation - 49 pages
The Experts guide on Company Voluntary Arrangements - 120 Pages
The Experts guide on Members Voluntary Liquidation - 17 Pages

For the first time we are making available our Experts Guide to Dissolving your Limited Company for free.  This contains over 40 pages of invaluable technical advice on how to do this along with letter templates that you need. 

This is normally available via our shop priced at £45.  However for a limited offer we are sending this out for free.  Please supply your email address and phone number to Robert Moore at robertm@ksagroup.co.uk to get your free copy.

Retail statistics of the week

This week has seen a couple of surprising retail statistics.

Almost £1 in every £10 spent by shoppers now involves internet purchases.  Yes that is almost 10%!

Internet purchases of clothing and footwear are up by 21% compared to a year ago, which compares to a 2.1% fall for bricks and mortar outlets.  Internet shopping has now trebled since 2007.

Internet shopping has grown for a number reasons. Cheaper deals online, faster internet connections and a better online experience helped by tablets and smart phones. Oh and it means people don't have to walk as much!

The Office of National Statistics said that the total value of retail sales has grown by 5.4% which is marginally ahead of the latest inflation rate of 5.2%.  This was better than expected.  However, still some stores struggle with the surprise announcement from Argos that showed a significant fall in sales leading to a collapse of profits of 94% in the first 6 months of the year.  The company blamed inflation hurting its lower income customers more than others.

Christmas time will be a make or break sales period for many retailers and they must get their online stores working well and able to deliver!

If you are struggling and are looking for a plan B visit or retailer rescue pages

Scottish Insolvency Statistics

Scottish insolvency statistics showed a steep rise in compulsory liquidations in the second quarter of this year of 71% compared to the second quarter of last year.

There were 361 notices of Scottish registered companies becoming insolvent or entering receivership in the second quarter of 2011/12. This figure includes 14 receiverships, 252 compulsory liquidations, 95 creditors voluntary liquidations and 57 members voluntary liquidations.

Could some of these companies that had cashflow problems have been saved by a CVA? Possibly. If you want to hear about how CVAs can help Scottish companies then give us a call.
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