Wales

Insolvent building firm 'was credit risk for over a year'

A yellow bulldozer stands out among the debris of Ninian Park football stadium's demolition Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Cuddy Group demolished the old Ninian Park stadium in Cardiff

Building contractor Cuddy Group was deemed a high credit risk by a ratings agency for most of the year before it went into administration last month, BBC Wales has learned.

CreditSafe said from November 2017 onwards Cuddy Group was paying its bills between 32 and 106 days late.

Cuddy Group was well known as a sponsor of Welsh sports clubs, most notably the Ospreys, where owner Mike Cuddy was chief executive until 2012.

The company has been asked for comment.

Credit ratings work by calculating risk based on several factors such as profitability, borrowing levels and late payment performance.

Decline

According to Caerphilly-based CreditSafe, Cuddy Group's credit rating has declined steadily over the last three years.

For most of the year before Cuddy Group went into administration it was deemed "high risk", before temporarily improving to "moderate risk" at the end of June 2018.

However in the weeks immediately before it went into administration the firm was rated as "very high risk".

The Cuddy Group has not filed accounts with Companies House since 2016 so a more recent picture of the family firm's financial position had not been clear until now.

The directors of the firm also took dividends out of the company in 2013/4 and 2014/5 despite it making a loss but did not take anything out in 2015/6 when it made a profit.

Managing director Mike Cuddy, a former chief at Ospreys rugby region, has previously said the firm fell into trouble after he spent six months in hospital and no one else "stepped up" in his absence.

More than 100 of its workers have been offered jobs by a house builder Persimmon Homes.

The exact reasons for the Cuddy Group's insolvency still are not clear.

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