Readie Construction goes into administration

Administrators have officially been appointed for logistics and warehouse specialist Readie Construction Ltd.

A notice on the company website states that it is in administration and has ceased trading immediately after Constantinos Pedhiou and Gary Shankland of Begbies Traynor were called in yesterday to begin winding down the contractor’s operations.

In an email to staff, Readie Construction management stated: “Inflationary cost pressures, numerous subcontractor failures, and chronic tightening in the performance bond and trade credit insurance markets have put the business under considerable strain. Despite the efforts of a director to overcome these challenges by seeking external sources of finance, support and investment, we have not been successful in finding a viable solution.”

A spokesperson for Begbies Traynor confirmed that the holding company Readie Management Ltd had stayed under, even though Readie Construction is its only trading entity.
Begbies Traynor is asking creditors to contact the administrators to register a claim, adding, “Having just been appointed, we are assessing the situation, and further updates will be made as and when it is appropriate.”

Readie Construction was founded in 2007 by its current executive chairman, Stuart Read.

For the year ending 31 March 2023, turnover grew by 22 per cent from £345m to £421.1m as pent-up demand was released after the Covid pandemic lockdowns. This enabled the company to rise to 55th place in the latest CN100 table of top contractors.

However, it recorded a £1.7m pre-tax profit for the year ending 31 March 2023, marking a more than threefold decrease on the previous year’s total of £5.5m.

The firm delivered 3.8 million square feet of warehouse space to clients in its 2022/23 financial year and completed 22 jobs overall, with 41 others in progress.

The demise of Readie Construction follows the collapse in the past six months of fellow EOTs Buckingham Group (August 2023) and Michael J Lonsdale (October 2023), leading some industry analysts to question the benefits of employee ownership of construction firms, especially given the thin profit margins that characterise the industry.