Lincoln construction firm enters administration

Lincoln-based construction firm Simons Group has filed for administration.

Around 124 job losses are expected, with some staff retained to help with the wind-down of the business and attempts to transfer existing contracts to alternative contractors, administrators FRP Advisory said.

The family-owned company had a £100 million turnover but is was also carrying a significant pension deficit — £11.3 million at its last filing in March 2018.

Tom Robinson, CEO of Simons Group

Simons was established in 1944. It was was led by chief executive Tom Robinson who was appointed to the post five years ago from now-collapsed Carillion, where he spent 21 years.

FRP Advisory will attempt to sell off some of the business.

Joint administrator Nathan Jones said: “After a period of challenging trading and contract delays resulted in unsustainable cashflow difficulties, the directors of Simons Group were left with no choice but to enter the business into administration.”

Simons Group made a £704,000 pre-tax profit on turnover of £104.4 million in its last financial year, having made a £3.9 million pre-tax loss the previous year.

The company was building mainly for the retail and commercial sector and said the market was facing a “challenging time,” which it expected to continue.

Five projects worth £38 million that were due to start in 2017 were delayed until after March 2018, the company said, which led to turnover falling to £104.4 million from £119.9 million in 2017.

Simons restructured in the 2018 financial year and reduced staff numbers from 215 to 182.

One subcontractor at the firm’s project to revamp the Angel Central shopping centre in North London told Construction Enquirer: “We were called into the site office and told to pack up and take our tools. It’s a real bolt from the blue, nobody had any indication there were problems.”

Simons Group Limited, Simons Construction Limited, Simons Design Limited and Simons Development Limited have filed for administration. Simons Estates Limited, a dormant company, will be liquidated, Construction News reports.