Staff told to look for new jobs as inflation, bust firms and stalled jobs send Readie Construction under

Essex contractor Readie Construction has told staff to start looking for new jobs after the logistics and warehousing specialist confirmed this morning it was heading for administration.

Bosses at the firm, which is headed by executive chairman Stuart Read and employs over 200 people, called staff into its Romford head office this morning to break the bad news.

Building understands that Read told employees in an email yesterday afternoon the firm had been felled by “inflationary cost pressures” and “numerous subcontractor failures”.

stuart read

Executive chairman Stuart Read first broke the bad news to staff yesterday afternoon

Writing on LinkedIn, one former employee said Readie was “going into liquidation” and added: “Sadly [this] seems to be becoming a common issue across the sector.”

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In its latest published accounts, filed at Companies House last October, Readie reported a turnover of £421m in the year to March 2023, a rise of 22%.

But pre-tax profit nosedived two-thirds to £1.7m, although its cash balance at the year-end improved by £1.2m to £12.3m.

The fall in profit meant the firm’s pre-tax profit margin was shredded to just 0.4% from 1.6% last time although the firm said it had “traded through an incredibly difficult year for our industry”.

Explaining the fall in profit, it said its bottom line was hit by several drawbacks. “We had a number of projects that were delayed due to supply chain failures, incurring additional prelim costs to the business as well as additional costs to find replacement subcontractors at a higher cost.”

And it added: “Inflation within the construction sector has been challenging and this has gad an impact on margin, along with a return to more projects being competitively tendered, rather than negotiated.”

The firm is the biggest to collapse this year to date and follows several high-profile failures in 2023 including Tolent, Buckingham and MJ Lonsdale.