90 jobs lost as administrator wields axe at DGT Structures in Lenwade

Chris Williams outside DGT Structures headquarters in Lenwade. Pic Submitted. Chris Williams outside DGT Structures headquarters in Lenwade. Pic Submitted.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
6:00 AM

A Norfolk steelwork contractor is making 90 people redundant after plunging into administration last week.

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DGT Structures is keeping just 29 of its 119 strong workforce as it looks to boost its chances of finding a buyer by finishing a number of outstanding contracts.

And in a further blow, the EDP understands that one sub-contractor has been stung by £30,000 bad debt as the shock waves from the collapse are felt.

The Lenwade-based firm revealed on Friday that it had fallen into administration after appointing insolvency specialists McTear, Williams and Wood.

The business – which recorded a £20m turnover in 2012 – hoped an investment boost would strengthen its balance sheet and spark a turnaround of fortunes.

But pressure from creditors, problems collecting payments, and a downgrade of the company’s credit rating had made trading difficult.

The announcement is the latest chapter in a turbulent saga for the firm, which was hit by a watchdog investigation in 2012 when a steel frame surrounding a five-storey London church fell apart.

Chris Williams, joint administrator, said the company’s largest debts reside with HMRC and the Redundancy Payments Office.

“We can confirm that a number of DGT contracts are currently being completed which will improve the position for creditors, and that 29 staff have been retained to assist with this process,” he added. “Unfortunately, 90 DGT staff have had to be made redundant. The administrators arranged for all weekly wages to be paid on Friday 21 February 2014.”

According to the latest filed accounts for September 30, 2012, pre-tax profits fell by £90,273 to £159,113, despite turnover increasing £740,423 to £20.3m. But the amount falling due to creditors within one year had risen from £9.1m in 2011 to £10.2m in 2012. This included £7.3m owed to trade creditors and £2.1m owed in VAT during 2012.

Businessmen Andre Serruys and Van Thurston looked to steer DGT Steel & Clading on to a firmer financial footing in 2008 when they bought the company out of administration and created DGT Structures.

It was followed two years later with a deal to snap up High Cross Forecourt Canopies for £301,000 as part of a pre-pack administration.

High Cross, which moved from Besthorpe to Lenwade as part of the package, secured a multi-millon pound contract to build drive-thru cafes for Starbucks in 2012.

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