Brexit hits Pink wafer maker Rivington Biscuits as it goes into administration cutting 100 jobs

Administrator FRP Advisory said a ‘sustained deterioration’ since the vote had caused problems at the Wigan-based company

Zlata Rodionova
Thursday 15 December 2016 12:07 GMT
Rivington Biscuits makes the popular Pink Panther pink wafers
Rivington Biscuits makes the popular Pink Panther pink wafers

Rivington Biscuits, the maker of Pink Panther wafers, has gone into administration, blaming the fall in the value of the pound following the Brexit vote.

The company, a key employer in Wigan, which voted to leave the EU by nearly 64 per cent, said will it cut 99 of its 123 staff, as a result.

Another 24 people have been kept to honour orders into the new year.

Rivington Biscuits’ financial position worsened in the wake of the June referendum, as the slump in the value of the pound pushed up the cost of ingredients used to make its biscuits.

Rivington’s demise underlines the lack of pricing power among smaller firms unable to pass the price rises on to its supermarket customers.

FRP Advisory, which is handling the liquidation of BHS, the high street chain previousl‎y owned by Sir Philip Green, has been appointed as Rivington’s administrators.

FRP said in a statement: “A sustained deterioration in trading conditions, and significant additional pricing costs since the summer following the sharp fall in the value of the pound, left the business facing unsustainable cash-flow pressure.”

The pound has fallen by around 16 per cent against the US dollar since Britain voted to leave the EU in June. This already means that any goods brought in from outside the UK will be more expensive.

“It looks inevitable that consumer purchasing power will deteriorate markedly over the coming months as inflation moves appreciably higher and earnings growth is limited,” said Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight.

Inflation has hit its highest level in more than two years thanks to the sharp depreciation of the pound since the Brexit vote, according to the latest prices report from the Office for National Statistics released on Tuesday.

Dave Lewis, the chief executive of Tesco, has previously warned its international suppliers against using the plummeting pound as an excuse for illegitimate price increases.

In October, Tesco took brands such as Marmite, Ben & Jerry’s and PG Tips off its shelves after consumer goods giant Unilever raised their prices by 10 per cent to compensate for the weaker pound. The dispute was resolved after Unilever abandoned its plans.

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