A swift exit for R&M Swain

Martin Swaine: Continuing his connection with the Rhythm & Booze off licence chain
Martin Swaine: Continuing his connection with the Rhythm & Booze off licence chain
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A DRAMATIC change in fortunes has seen Barnsley-based independent off licence group R&M Swaine depart the Top 100 rankings as rapidly as it arrived.

The company, which owned the Rhythm & Booze off licence chain, secured its listing last year after buying 34 stores from the administrators of failed off-licence operator First Quench in 2009 and more than doubling in size.

Unfortunately, R & M Swaine hit financial difficulties earlier this year because its ambitious expansion plans were not properly funded and it lost credit insurance, which restricted supplies and hit sales.

Having been named Multiple Off-Licence of the Year in February, the company had to call in administrators from Ernst & Young.

Fortunately, the administrators were able to save more than 420 jobs by selling the business to Bibby Retail Services, which owns the Costcutter chain of supermarkets.

A10 per cent increase in the turnover threshold for admission to the Top 100 rankings has resulted in eight companies losing their places. Four companies – Tours Abroad Group, Gripple, Naylor and Smith Bros (Caerconan) secured places in the listing for the first time last year but failed to clear the £32.5 million turnover hurdle, up from £29.5 million in 2011.

Rotherham-based Tours Abroad Group is better known as coach tour specialist Leger Holidays, while Sheffield-based wire joining and tensioning technology group Gripple won its fourth Queen’s Award earlier this year. Naylor – based in Barnsley – makes clay and plastic drainage products, garden ware and concrete products, while Smith Bros (Caerconan) is a Doncaster-based electrical distributor

Other companies which have held Top 100 rankings for several years, but are missing this year, include Doncaster-based railway, civil engineering and mining projects specialist SES Holdings and office supplies group Fellowes and Barnsley motor dealer T Hayselden. Meanwhile, two of last year’s Top 100 companies have moved their head offices out of the area.

Ye Olde Oak Foods, the Sheffield-based producer of hams, cold meats, hotdogs and ready-to-eat meals has moved its registered office to West Yorkshire and Schmolz&Bickenbach, the Chesterfield-based stainless steel stockholder, has moved its registered office to the West Midlands.