McArdle go bust after 72% increase in sales. Administrators seek sale as going concern.
Rumours circulating on Monday that Colnbrook based construction company McArdle had gone bust have been confirmed today with the shock announcement that administrators have been called in for the entire group.
Mercier Holdings Limited, J McArdle Contracts Limited, McArdle Waste Services Limited, McArdle Plant Hire Limited & McKenna Plant Hire (Oxford) Limited, all run out of the head office in Mill Street, have all been placed in administration with immediate effect.
An announcement on the McArdle website said that Christopher William Pillar and Stuart David Maddison have been appointed as joint administrators of the Companies to manage their affairs, business and property as their agents. Both are licensed in the United Kingdom to act as insolvency practitioners by Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
In its last published accounts, for year ending December 2011, McArdle highlighted a 72% growth in sales and gross profit of £6.5 million. Despite a slowdown in the construction sector it was then buoyant about its prospects for 2012:
“… there is no indication that 2012 will show much improvement. It is to McArdle employees’ credit that the company continues to win new business and deliver high performance and productivity in such a challenging environment …”
McArdle plant has been a regular sight on the M25 and it was also involved in the construction of the Olympic Park. No explanation has been provided for the sudden change in fortunes but the administrators told Construction Enquirer:
“As ist well known, the construction sector has been significantly impacted by the general economic climate – couple with an extremely competitive market.
The group has not been immune from these issues and as a consequence has been suffering from cash flow pressures.
Although management have worked extremely hard to try and resolve these issues, they were unfortunately unable to do so.
However, despite the sector challenges, we believe that the group’s core business is strong and as a result we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business can be achieved.”
No redundancies have been announced for the firm’s 300 staff, and operations into and out of its premises off the by-pass continue as busy as normal. Few employees live in the Slough area.
McArdle’s misfortunes wont necessarily win much sympathy in Colnbrook where it has flouted planning conditions and continues to squat on the Green Belt.
Founder Jim McArdle bought the site from the late Jim Swanston, owner of Tanhouse Farm. Slough Borough Council then waived restrictions to allow the head office site to extend over Green Belt, and allowed a major new road to be built over farmland from the by-pass.
The site was allowed a maximum of 6 lorry parking spaces, but McArdle regularly stored 66 HGVs on the site. Its legal team pointed out that its planning conditions did not state that lorries could only be parked in lorry spaces. Slough agreed and acquiesced over enforcement action.
The newly elected Parish Council missed the deadline to consider McArdle’s retrospective application in 2011 to extend further into Green Belt areas on its site. In its application it claimed that it could not justify exorbitant local rents, threatening to leave Colnbrook if it did not get its way. Just prior it had declared a 54% increase in profits.
The application was rejected by Slough Borough Council.
Last year the Parish Council controversially accepted a donation of £500 towards the Jubilee Clock fund from McArdle, followed by £2,000 of free groundworks. Tackled on the issue at the Parish AGM, angry councillors retorted that “you have to take money where you can get it” and that it was “naive” to think that McArdle would not be pursued for their Green Belt violations despite the acceptance of donations.
Even since it entered administration McArdle continue to flagrantly abuse its agreed opening hours to the annoyance of neighbouring residences.
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