Fife shopfitting company on the brink of going bust

Havelock Europa in Fife. Picture: Google Street View
Havelock Europa in Fife. Picture: Google Street View
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About 400 jobs are under threat after a Fife shopfitting and interiors firm had trading in its shares suspended.

Havelock Europa, which is based in Kirkcaldy, announced yesterday that trading conditions had further deteriorated.

The company said in a statement that talks on funding were “unlikely to result in a positive outcome”.

The announcement led to an immediate suspension of the buying and selling of shares as concerns soared over Havelock’s financial position.

The firm produces furniture and fittings for shops and public buildings.

Havelock’s main customers include Primark, Holland 
and Barrett, and House of Fraser.

The latter is already undergoing its own widespread store closure programme, with House of Fraser on Princes Street in Edinburgh’s West End among 31 outlets closing nationwide.

Havelock have blamed continuing pressures on the retail sector for a major drop in sales.

A company statement said: “In its announcement of its results for the year ended 31 December 2017, released on 31 May 2018, the company referred to a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt over its ability to continue as a going concern and to realise its assets and settle its liabilities in the normal course of events.

“Since then, the company has experienced an unexpected increasing credit squeeze from its suppliers, as a result of which it has substantially utilised its available facilities following the re-financing first announced on 20 February 2018.

“The board announces that it has been in discussions with existing funders and investors in the company regarding the provision of further funding. However, it became apparent yesterday evening that these were unlikely to result in a positive outcome.”

Fife Council are holding daily discussions with the company.

Co-leaders David Ross and David Alexander said: “This worrying announcement potentially has a major impact on Kirkcaldy and mid-Fife as the company is the one of the area’s largest employers.

“The council has been strongly supporting Havelock over the past year with regular officer engagement and significant assistance from Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.

“This will continue as the company considers its options over the coming days.”