UK PCB firm Circatex has gone into administration
Jan 17, 2006
Ernst & Young has been appointed administrators for the firm that was the second biggest PCB firm in the UK, behind Invotec. Around 210 staff are employed by the firm, who now face uncertain times.
A spokeswoman at Ernst & Young said no decision has yet been made about the future of the firm. Partner Hunter Kelly at Ernst & Young said: "Circatex is a respected operator and has a strong blue-chip order book. However, the business has suffered from significant losses during 2005, mainly due to a loss-making contract that completed last summer, and increases in energy prices."
The decline in European manufacturing...
"Despite having successfully reduced energy consumption to counter the price increases and a strong quality order book, the business has been unable to overcome the pressures caused by these losses, the quantum of which has only recently been fully established. We are currently in discussions with Circatex's principal customers and suppliers to establish the way forward."
It is the second time the firm based at the South Shields site has gone into administration. The current management took the firm out of administration in the summer of 2004. In turn this firm was created from an MBO of Viasystems in 2001.
The history of the business goes further back to the days of Plessey and Interconnection Systems.
Towards the end of last year rival UK firm Prestwick Circuits was closed by parent company TT Electronics, saying: "The UK printed circuit board manufacturers are under constant pressure from overseas suppliers with factories in low labor cost areas, and this along with high cost increases in the UK make it extremely difficult to compete."
At the time Circatex' managing director Mark Beesley said he disagreed with Prestwick's comments but added: "The market is extremely volatile. If the attrition continues we may potentially have to modify our view on pricing and resourcing but we are not at that point now."
The UK PCB industry has been battered over the last six years due to low cost competition from the Far East, and particularly China. The number of UK PCB firms has roughly halved since 2000.