• Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Business

Simtom Food slips into administration as Covid hits sector

(Photo: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images).

By: Shilpa Sharma

SIMTOM FOOD PRODUCTS, traditional Indian sauces manufacturer in Leicester, has slipped into administration due to the impact of the pandemic and labour shortages.

Founded in 1977 by Jai Chandarana, the family-run business produced a wide range of traditional Indian sauces, marinades, pickles and chutneys for supermarkets and the foodservice industry.

Over the past few years, the business has invested heavily to grow its operations, but plans were hampered by the coronavirus outbreak that affected the catering industry.

The losses and recent labour shortages built tremendous pressure on the company, resulting in the appointment of recovery firm Interpath Advisory.

Simton directly employed about 60 staff, alongside an additional 40 agency workers. The majority of the workers were made redundant before the appointment of joint administrators Tim Bateson and Howard Smith.

“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,” Bateson said.

“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.

“Simtom fell to a pre-tax loss of more than £660k in the 18 months ended 31 March 2020 as margins were squeezed, according to the latest accounts available on Companies House.”

The company’s turnover increased 18 per cent on an annualised basis to £18 million during the period.

Interpath is formerly the UK restructuring practice of KPMG, created in March this year when the Big Four accountancy firm sold the division to a newly formed company backed by H.I.G. Europe.

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