Norwich-headquartered Broadland Catering Equipment has ceased trading on 12 December 2016.
Director Colin Chettleburgh confirmed: “It is with great sadness I must report that Broadland Catering Equipment has had to cease trading. The last 15 months have been extremely challenging for us. Competition has driven margins down and labour costs have risen as a result of a buoyant London market and it’s fair to say we’ve had more than our share of adversity during that period.”
He went on to say: “I have taken professional advice and explored all the available options to avoid arriving at this point but sadly, for a variety of reasons, none of those options have borne fruit.
“To continue trading beyond this point would adversely affect the position for our creditors and it is with a heavy heart that I have now given instructions for the company to be wound up. A meeting of creditors has been called for 6 January 2017. I would like to publicly thank all our staff, customers, suppliers and partners for all the support they have given over the years.”
Chettleburgh added: “I can assure our suppliers that making this decision now rather than later is in their best interests. Creditors will shortly receive notice of the meeting.”
East Anglia business rescue and insolvency specialist McTear Williams & Wood has been engaged to assist in placing the company into creditors’ voluntary liquidation.
Tony Harrison of McTear Williams & Wood said: “We have worked with Colin over the last few weeks to try to save the business either by a share sale or other means but this has not proved possible. There was no realistic prospect of a return to profit and if it had carried on trading it would only make the situation worse.”
CEDA member Broadland Catering Equipment had celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, having been established in 1976. It was also a member of buying group, Cedabond. Broadland’s website is operational at the moment, but its phone line is already out of service.
Broadland’s move is not unprecedented in the sector, as Staffordshire-based TT Catering also took the decision to close its operation at the beginning of 2014 and pay creditors in full, rather than risk being unable to meet its debts further down the line.
This is the second dealer to go out of business in Norwich this year, following Catershop’s closure in June, due to cancelled projects from the oil and gas sector. However, Catershop’s founder, Richard Todd, has now established a new dealership called Elite Foodservice Design in nearby Lowestoft.