The liquidators of Newcastle-based Heaton Catering Equipment have revealed why the dealer was forced to close the business in December.
Andrew Haslam and Tonya Allison of FRP Advisory Trading were appointed as joint liquidators of the distributor on 21 December 2020.
Haslam told Catering Insight: “Heaton Catering Equipment supplied and fitted catering and kitchen equipment into the trade along with sales to the general public via their website. In 2018 and 2019 the company had seen a growth in turnover and headcount and had taken additional fixed overheads to allow this growth to continue with projections detailing further growth throughout 2020.”
Last year, the coronavirus pandemic changed the distributor’s fortunes though, with Haslam detailing: “Due to the lockdown in March and the immediate and unforeseen closure of the leisure industry the company saw its turnover collapse overnight and took advantage of the various government schemes to support the business.
“Once the lockdown ended the directors continued to work hard to bring turnover back up, however lockdown 2.0 was a further body-blow to the business and thereafter the directors formed the view that the company could no longer continue to operate and took the difficult decision to seek insolvency advice.”
According to the statement of affairs listed on Companies House, the dealer has accrued over £278,000 of trade debts. Major brands at the top of the creditor list include Nevilles, Zodiac, Rational UK, RBD Uropa and Churchill China.
Heaton Catering Equipment was run by the Henry family, with major shareholders comprising Alan, Gary, Linda, Paul and Steven. It was established in its current guise in 2002 according to Companies House, however, the dealer’s website, which is still operational, says that the family business started in 1950.