Belfast bakery struggles under weight of debts

25 September, 2009
Page 8 

Millers Traditional Bakery is fighting to stay in business and protect 60 jobs after running up big debts.
The Belfast family-run baker hopes to reach a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) with creditors to avoid liquidation after one of those owed money Latimer Electrical Services Limited brought a wind-up petition.
A hearing at the High Court last week was adjourned to 8 October after lawyers for Millers outlined the efforts being made by the company.
Less than two years ago, the company moved from a site in Newtownabbey to a new 16,000 sq ft production facility, installed equipment to improve baking capacity and funded a marketing campaign to position itself as a specialist food producer.
In a statement, MD William Millar said: "The sudden downturn in the economy and its impact on the competitive grocery trade has presented us with major challenges in meeting the debt of expansion in a depressed market.
"But we are confident that measures can be taken that will enable us to trade out of these problems and maintain and expand our customer base with the support of our creditors.
"We will be endeavouring to do everything possible to turn around the situation and create a sustainable solution which will underpin employment and maintain ongoing business for our suppliers."
The craft baker launched in 1997 and has a 150-strong product range, supplying retailers including Centra, Mace and Dunnes Stores, as well as its own shop in Chapel Lane. Millers continues to fulfil orders and run the shop while it resolves its financial problems.


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