KPMG appointed to handle the administration of structural steel specialist

Half-century old Robinson Steel has fallen into administration, with the loss of 118 jobs.

The £28m-turnover structural steel specialist – which is listed at Companies House as S Robinson and Sons – went bust just ten months after it drafted in venture capitalists R Capital to try to save the firm.

Administrator KPMG said it had managed to save 17 jobs, after selling subsidiary Robinsons Agriculture to local firm LBJ Limited.

The 47-year-old firm is based in Derby and recently worked on steel packages on Chesterfield football club’s new b2net stadium and the adjacent Tesco superstore.

The firm made a £4.8m loss in its last full financial year to 30 November 2010, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

KPMG said in a statement the firm had experienced severe cashflow difficulties and a rapid decline in orders.

Will Wright from KPMG said: “In common with many in this sector the economic environment has had an adverse impact on the order book.

“Despite the best efforts of all involved it was not possible to find a solution for the whole business although we were pleased to secure a sale of the subsidiary company which preserved 17 jobs.”

Lisa Cardus of credit reference agency Top Service Credit said structural steel firms were among the hardest hit in the industry. “Companies operating in the structural steel sector are under tremendous pressure at the moment, due to the lack of speculative development and the fluctuation of steel prices”.