Sunderland-based A Thompsons & Sons in administration

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Up to 70 jobs are at risk after a Sunderland-based building merchants called in administrators.

A Thompsons & Sons has branches across Tyne and Wear, County Durham and North Yorkshire and has been in business since 1955.

Administrators KPMG said the firm had suffered from poor sales and was unable to pay its staff last month.

No jobs have yet been lost, but KPMG said it was looking for a buyer for the company and its assets.

'Weak trading'

A KPMG spokesman said: "It was announced by Thompsons last week that the company was facing financial difficulties and the option of seeking a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with its creditors was being explored.

"However, following a winding up petition from HMRC, the ability to achieve this without the protection of an administration has not proved possible.

"The business has been impacted by weak trading conditions across the sector, which has led to cash pressures.

"Ultimately an inability to pay last month's wage bill and the issuing of the winding up petition have resulted in Thompsons entering administration.

"We are now assessing the financial position of the company while marketing the business and assets for sale."

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