Astracast enters administration

Sinks and taps manufacturer Astracast has entered administration, following a downturn in trading, with the loss of 42 jobs.

The company, which was acquired by Darren Cooper (pictured) in August last year, has appointed Julien Irving and Andrew Poxon of Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group as joint administrators.

Irving said in a statement: “The business experienced a downturn in trading, which resulted in operations not being commensurate to its manufacturing and premises costs. On this basis, the company was unable to avoid administration.”

However, according to Irving, 103 jobs have been safeguarded following the sale “of certain assets” to a new company – Astracast International Holdings Limited – of which Darren Cooper is a director.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the company plans to move its UK operation to alternative premises and that it has ceased manufacture of composite sinks in this country, with all production transferring to a new factory in Malta.

In the official statement, Cooper reassured customers it was “business as usual” following the acquisition.

“We would like to reassure our customers that they will see little or no change in how we do business and they should remain unaffected by this change,” he said. “The manufacturing of granite composite sinks continues in our newly commissioned Maltese factory. Astracast will remain a strong brand. And we are confident that we can ensure a smooth transition.

“We also have exciting product developments in the pipeline and we are continuing to invest in the design and production of a new range of sinks in composite, stainless steel and ceramics. This new portfolio was unveiled at kbb Birmingham, underlining our long-term commitment to the industry, our trade customers and our plans for growth”.

The news may come as a shock to many in the industry following the brand’s significant exposure at the kbb Birmingham show earlier this month, and Cooper’s confident predictions in an exclusive interview with kbbreview in February.

In the interview, Cooper pledged to take Astracast “back to great” and to “turn it into the number-one brand in the sector within the next three years.”

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