British Ceramic Tile in Heathfield appointed administrators today blaming challenging trading conditions and the loss of a key customer in recent days.
The closure of the business has resulted in 313 redundancies. The remaining 67 employees will support the winding down of the company.
Headquartered in Newton Abbot, British Ceramic Tile Ltd is one of the UK’s largest manufacturers and distributors of ceramic wall and floor tiles. The company employs 380 people across the UK at its sites in Newton Abbot, Devon and Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire.
According to a statement issued by specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory LLP, which is handling the administration, BCT has “ceased trading with immediate effect”, however the company’s website is still live and it still appears to be possible to place orders. A spokesperson for FRP said they were in the process of taking the website down.
Joint administrator Andrew Sheridan from FRP said: "British Ceramic Tile Limited is a leading player in the manufacturer of ceramic tiles, with a long-standing heritage in the local communities in which it operates and a stellar reputation for its quality products.
“Unfortunately, challenging trading conditions and the termination of a key customer contract in recent days have forced the business to enter administration and cease trading with immediate effect.”
It has been a tough time for the tile market recently, with Topps reporting a fall in profits, and Capitol Tiles going bust. However, some businesses in the sector continue to see growth, with news that Tileflair has opened another showroom as part of its expansion programme and Tile Mountain targetting 15 showroom locations across the UK, as its online business thrives.
Iin 2017, BCT invested more than £1.5million in its Newton Abbott factory and had further plans in place for 2018 to continue to expand capacity at te site. With a big focus on developing its HD collection and to meet demand for large-format HD ranges, the business purchased a new dual line high-definition XD printer - the fourth inkjet printing machine within the business. BCT had also scaled up its workforce in order to increase output, meaning the factory was operating 24 hours a day across all kilns. No figures have been filed for 2017 or 2018 but the latest published accountds for the business reveal a turnover of £48.6million for 2016, up 5% on the previous year, with a retained profit of £1.36million.
FRP's Andrew Sheridan added: “We are currently providing support to the affected employees and are working closely with the Redundancy Payments Service to ensure the best possible outcome in this difficult period. In the meantime, we would urge any parties interested in acquiring the business to contact us as soon as possible.”
Interested parties should contact David.Shambrook@frpadvisory.com. Any suppliers or distributors with any questions should email BCTEnquiries@frpadvisory.com .
Anyone affected by the closure of BCT who needs support, should contact industry charity, the Rainy Day Trust on 0203 192 0486 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Application forms for assistance from the charity can also be downloaded from www.rainydaytrust.org.uk/get-help/apply-for-help/