Preston & Thomas, a British manufacturer of cooking ranges for fish and chip shops, has been placed into administration.
The Cardiff-based supplier said a decline in turnover during recent years coupled with customers finding it difficult to obtain finance had hit the business hard.
Directors of the company said delays in securing customer orders and customers taking delivery of ranges had also compounded its woes.
Administrators Begbies Traynor are now searching for a buyer to take on the business, which specialises in island, counter and wall ranges.
The administration is being managed jointly by David Hill and Steve Wade of Begbies Traynor’s Cardiff office.
Hill said: “Preston and Thomas Ltd has played a major role in British culinary culture, manufacturing the cooking equipment that millions of fish and chip shop customers have relied upon for decades.
“Having been appointed joint administrators, Mr Wade and I are looking for interested parties to acquire the business and assets of this long established and highly regarded company with the aim of securing its future.”
Preston & Thomas employs 25 people at its factory in the Cardiff district of Rumney. Incidentally, this year marked the company’s 100th anniversary.
According to the company’s website, Preston & Thomas has built and installed more than 11,000 ranges in fish and chip shops across the country since the Second World War.
The administration comes just a year after the firm secured a record £100,000 contract for a giant eight-pan range that went into a chip shop in Falkirk, Scotland.
A spokesperson for the administrators told Catering Insight that Preston & Thomas’ sales for the year to March 2013 was £1.5m.