Cashmere firm fails to find investment

123 jobs axed as Hawick Knitwear calls in administrators

Hawick KnitwearHawick Knitwear has called in administrators who have made 123 staff redundant after the firm failed to find new investment to secure its future.

Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar of KPMG have been appointed at the request of the company.

With a manufacturing heritage dating back to 1874, Hawick Knitwear designs and manufactures knitwear from its premises in the Borders town.

It produces cashmere and other wool-based garments under its own Hawick Knitwear and Clan Douglas brands, as well as garments for blue-chip customers in the UK and overseas.

The company has been experiencing difficult trading conditions in recent years due to increasing production costs and reducing margins. Recent mild winters have also led to reduced demand for heavier winter garments.

Despite its trading losses, the company has been building its own-brand sales, which account for approximately £2.5 million of annual sales of £8.5m.

Recent attempts to secure new investment into Hawick Knitwear to support further development of the brand and provide much needed working capital ultimately proved unsuccessful leaving the director with no option but to place the company into administration.

It has 179 staff, all but two of which are based in Hawick. The administrators said they had no option but to make 123 employees redundant with immediate effect, with 56 staff retained.

All available options are being looked at to complete garments in progress and whether an early sale of the business, brands, infrastructure and assets can be secured.

Mr Nimmo said: “Hawick Knitwear has an excellent reputation in the industry. The company benefits from its heritage and established infrastructure together with a developing brand and a highly-skilled workforce, which we believe will be an asset to prospective purchasers.

“Unfortunately, extremely difficult market conditions have led to the current position. It is regrettable that a high level of redundancies has been necessary at this stage and we will be working with employees and the relevant Government agencies to ensure that the full range of support is available to those who are affected.

“In the meantime, we would encourage any party who has an interest in the company’s business and assets to contact us as soon as possible.”

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