Drinks supplier Conviviality has been accused of calling time on its customers well before last week’s profit warning.
The closures began last summer, raising speculation that Conviviality has been struggling to meet targets for some time.
Thursday’s shock profit warning wiped nearly two thirds off the firm’s share price.
hursday’s shock profit warning wiped nearly two thirds off the firm’s share price
Conviviality turns over £1.6billion a year supplying bars and restaurants, as well as running its own Bargain Booze off-licence chain.
The firm released a favourable report in January, but this week blamed ‘a material error’ in forecasts, adding that profit margins had ‘softened’.
Yet suppliers noted a spike in the number of Winding Up orders issued by one of Conviviality’s wholesale arms, Matthew Clark, in the second half of last year. Such court orders force struggling firms into administration to allow creditors to collect debts.
One supplier said: ‘The collapse in restaurant bookings has been worsening since well before Christmas so why would the board take until now to realise it?’