Scotland business

Fife firm Havelock Europa bosses defer salaries on losses

Primark store fitted out by Havelock Image copyright Havelock Europa
Image caption Havelock's clients include high street chains such as Primark

Bosses at loss-making interior fittings firm Havelock Europa have agreed to defer part of their salaries until such time as the company returns to profit.

The move follows a "challenging year" for the Fife-based firm, which reported an operating loss of £2.4m for 2015.

Chairman David MacLellan said that from 1 April, he was deferring £25,000 of his £55,000 salary per year.

The two other non-executive directors are deferring £5,000 of their £30,000 salaries.

Kirkcaldy-based Havelock has been undertaking a major restructuring of its business since David Ritchie took over as chief executive last May.

Last year it shed more than 110 jobs - about 20% of its workforce - as part of efforts to "simplify" its structure in order to "make it more agile and better able to maximise the customer experience".

According to the company's annual accounts, Havelock saw sales from continuing operations fall by 11% in the year to £70.3m.

It blamed the fall on reduced UK retail activity and delayed public sector contracts.

The company reported exceptional costs of £1.9m in 2015, the bulk of which was accounted for by restructuring.

'Simplifying the business'

Mr MacLellan said current trading within the business was in line with market expectations, supported by an opening order book for delivery in the year of £25m.

He added: "Although the business is continuing to progress and diversify, it still retains a high dependence on second half orders which restricts our visibility for the full year outturn.

"The implementation of the revised strategy of simplifying the business and maximising the customer experience is continuing and the board believes that this strategy is strengthening our ability to identify and develop opportunities in our chosen markets."

Havelock specialises in furniture and interiors for the education, healthcare and commercial sectors.

Its client list has included high street brands such as Lloyds Banking Group, Marks and Spencer, Primark, Accessorize and House of Fraser.

In November the firm was hit by news that its largest financial services client, Lloyds Banking Group, planned to cut development and refurbishment spend in 2016.

It warned at the time that the move would have a "material" impact this year "before mitigating actions are undertaken".

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