According to the administrators, the business had in the past few years invested heavily in growing its operations, but plans for implementation were hampered by the onset of COVID-19 lockdowns. This, coupled with more recent labour shortages, placed significant pressure on it, resulting in its current position.
The company directly employed approximately 60 people, alongside an additional 40 agency workers. The majority of these staff were made redundant before the appointment of the joint administrators.
The business reported a turnover of £18m in the 18 months to 31 March 2020, claiming sales had risen by 17.7% in the period, but at 'reduced profit margins caused by the continuing backdrop of economic instability and a fiercely competitive marketplace'.
Invested £5m in infrastructure
Simtom Food Products reported it had invested £5m in infrastructure, forming part of ongoing spend, which was 'beginning to result in operational success with the company being able to meet the ever-increasing demand for its products'.
"This, coupled with the introduction of many new products such as soups and condiment sauces has also enabled the company to attract new customers including the traditional big five retailers in addition to the discount retailers.
"The company continues to invest in research and development and this is expected to incorporate newer technological methods to improve efficiency and profitability.
"The director is confident that the company is well-placed to achieve a doubling of sales growth leading to an increase in the company's market share and much improved profitability over the next couple of years."
Sauces, marinades, pickles, chutneys
Founded in 1977, Simtom Food Products manufactures a wide range of traditional Indian, Thai, Mexican and Italian sauces, marinades, pickles and chutneys for supermarkets and catering businesses. Its brands include Timtom and Chef's Speciality. Its factory is based at Merry Lees Industrial Estate in Leicestershire.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the implementation of Simtom’s strategic plans which when coupled with the recent labour shortages has had a significant impact on this award-winning food manufacturer,“ said Tim Bateson, joint administrator for the company at Interpath advisory alongside Howard Smith.
“Our immediate priority is to support those employees who have been made redundant, providing them with the information and support they need to make claims via the Redundancy Payments Office.
“We will be seeking offers for the business and its assets, and would encourage any interested parties to make their interest known at the earliest opportunity.”
Interested parties are advised to contact Tom Burton at Interpath Advisory on firstname.lastname@example.org.