West Sussex-based direct mailing operation Nova Direct Mail has been placed in administration with the loss of around 22 jobs.
The Burgess Hill-based business, which was incorporated in March 2003, officially appointed administrators John Walters and Jonathan Beard from Begbies Traynor, Brighton, on 2 August.
The most recent set of accounts listed on Companies House for the business, which were made up to September 2015 and filed in November 2016, show a small profit of £24,996 in the 18 months to 30 September, while creditors were owed more than £600,000.
It is unclear what has become of Nova’s equipment, which was understood to have included HP, Konica and Xerox kit. Its 2,800sqm facility was leased.
Nova’s former manager for existing business Jon Woodhead, told PrintWeek that employees were only alerted to the company’s demise when administrators, who he said had been introduced previously by managing director Andy Fry as the company’s new accountants, arrived on Friday 21 July.
“We were called into the office in groups. Andy was there but didn’t speak to us. The administrators just went through a list of events, said they’d tried to sell the company but that there was no way forward. The office manager and a warehouse person were asked to stay for a week to deal with final details but the rest of us were let go then and there,” Woodhead explained.
He said staff had since all received three weeks' wages and some redundancy funds through the government’s Redundancy Payments Service.
Woodhead, who joined the company in 2003, said that trouble began for the business during the recession when big companies began to consolidate multiple suppliers into one single supplier that could provide multiple services.
“We just couldn’t compete and lost a few contracts, like EDF which was probably worth around £250,000 to us, because of it. On top of that there was a massive dip in the number of people undertaking direct mail so our turnover just began to drop.”
According to Woodhead turnover in the final year was around £1.7m, less than half of the £3.5m recorded in 2006.
Neither Fry nor Begbies Traynor responded to requests for comment.