Administration for Axminster and 300 staff lose their jobs

Axminster Carpets, the royal carpet maker, finally collapsed into administration yesterday after more than 250 years of making carpets in Devon, throwing 300 staff out of work.

The group, based in the eponymous Devon town, blamed a "sharp increase in raw material prices" and a fall in sales for appointing the advisory firm Duff & Phelps as administrator yesterday. Founded in 1755, Axminster filed an administration notice last month in the hope of striking a rescue deal with its creditors but no bid has materialised.

Joshua Dutfield, a company director, said: "Trading has been difficult and although it saddens the board to make the decision to enter administration it could not be avoided."

Duff & Phelps has retained 100 employees.

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