Wed, 13 Oct 2021 | ADMINISTRATION
Cheltenham-based plumbing, electrical and heating firm Shackleton, Wintle and Lane Limited (SW&L) is to be wound down after falling into administration as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the company’s most recent accounts, it reported close to £4 million in fixed and current assets, with net assets valued at £65,597.
SW&L was founded in 1978 and worked across a range of sectors in construction and property, providing heating, plumbing and electrical services for projects including bespoke renovations and new-build housing developments.
The company had been on an upward trajectory over recent years, acquiring WJL Electrical Services in 2016 and appointing managing director Simon Marklew, previously of Wolseley UK, in 2019 as it targeted future growth.
However, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns hit the company’s performance. In its accounts for the year ending July 31 2020, it reported revenue of £9.27 million, but fell to a post-tax loss of £411,979.
While demand has recovered this year, factors including rising prices and shortages in material and labour meant the firm’s sales continued to fall and losses mounted. It ultimately fell into administration, with Mazars appointed to handle the process.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Mazars said: "The Company had seen strong profitability and year-on-year sales growth of 10 per cent in the first half of the year ended 31st July 2020, but the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its associated lockdowns, saw an almost complete shutdown of the business resulting in losses of circa £400,000 during the year.”
"The pandemic continued to make its mark during 2021, with global material shortages, building materials price increases and a shortage of labour meaning that the company was unable to meet significantly increased demand for its services as restrictions eased.”
“During this period sales continued to fall and the company accrued further losses. As a result, the directors decided that the company had no option but to formally cease trading and be placed into administration.”
Joint administrator Mark Boughey added: "It is sad to see a company like Shackleton, Wintle and Lane Limited fail as a direct result of the prolonged impact of the COVID pandemic, having previously traded successfully for nearly 40 years.”
"The directors had to make the difficult decision to cease trading and enter administration to prevent the position for creditors worsening and we are now working closely with the company to oversee the winding down of the business's affairs for all of its financial stakeholders".
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