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UPDATED: Eighty jobs lost as Poole print company goes into administration
3:00pm Thursday 14th February 2013 in News
ONE of the largest printing companies in the area has suddenly closed, throwing 80 Poole employees out of work.
Bezier's premises on the Sterte Industrial Estate lay silent and deserted after staff were called into a meeting on Wednesday morning to be told the company had gone into administration.
“It was rather callous,” said one employee who was there. “The meeting was called at 10am and by 11am it was shut.”
He said some staff were in tears, some had not been paid due to different pay dates and were wondering how they were going to pay the rent and feed their families.
“A lot of people had been there 30-years or so. It was a good company to work for, no question about that.”
However there had been whisperings the previous week that the company, which printed posters, leaflets and other items for national and international customers, was in trouble, he said.
A victim of the economic downturn, the company said its difficult decision followed a protracted period of economic decline. Sales fell by 27 per cent to £49.1m in the financial year ending April 2012 making an £8m loss and it had alved in size since 2009 when turnover was almost £100m.
Major name clients had cut their print budgets and moved more into digital and social media. It recently lost a major retail contract for Boots poster material said to be worth around £10million a year and in recent years had lost work with Asda and Dixons.
The Poole litho print operation ran three shifts in printing, three in finishing and binding and had a studio and a digital printer.
Former employee Tony Wiles, who had been made redundant from the former Archway Press and set up his own company Finish-It said: “We have lost our best customer and we have lost a lot of money.”
He said their work included binding calendars for the company. “It was one of the biggest printers in this area and it's gone now.”
Chris Slocock, a board member of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and managing director of the Minster Press said: “”Unfortunately we are going to see more of this. We need a strategy from government that allows and encourages investment for the medium and long term.”
He said: “The printing industry in particular has changed with technology. We have to adapt or die.”
Cllr Xena Dion, cabinet portfolio holder for the economy, Borough of Poole said they were saddened by the news. “This is the latest in a number of recent announcements stating that local firms are struggling to survive the current financial climate.
“However we will do all we can to help those staff affected find alternative employment as soon as possible.”
The Wakefield headquarters and the company's Leicester offices have both been closed and the company was believed to employ around 400 staff in total.
“In making this decision we had to take a view of what was best for the whole company going forward and deeply regret the staff redundancies,” said James Buckley, chief executive of Bezier.
“This decision has not been made lightly and comes despite a series of stringent organisational changes designed to reduce costs. Unfortunately the current situation has become unsustainable.
“We are extremely grateful to all our colleagues for their dedication and will do our upmost to support them through this transition.”
The board will focus on developing its Global Brands division at its Soho, London HQ.