Reseller Searchclause has become the latest channel player to go into voluntary liquidation.
A meeting of creditors was held on 19 February after the company went into voluntary liquidation on 31 January owing just under £450,000. Solomon Hare Business Rescue was appointed as liquidator.
A statement released on behalf of Peter McCaffery, a Searchclause director, said: "Searchclause saw margins drop from a high of 24 per cent to an average of 16 per cent, meaning it had to sell approximately 43 per cent more product in order to achieve planned gross profits.
"In fact, over the period Searchclause saw its sales revenues drop by about 25 per cent."
McCaffery, a former director at distributor VLSI International, which supplied Searchclause before going into administrative receivership in 2001 (CRN, 10 January 2001), said that low Christmas 2002 sales also contributed to Searchclause's downfall.
Research company Experian said that a total of 4,728 companies folded during the fourth quarter of 2002, a 4.6 per cent increase on Q4 2001, with insolvencies in IT rising by 26.1 per cent.
Aside from difficult market conditions, McCaffery cited cashflow pressure caused by lower sales, inflexible overhead costs, the voluntary liquidation of an on-site maintenance partner and "a lack of accurate and timely management accounts" as factors in his decision to go into voluntary liquidation.
Nitin Joshi, partner at insolvency specialist PKF, which is acting for a number of creditors involved, said: "A liquidation committee has been appointed and has asked the liquidator to undertake a full investigation. We will monitor the conduct of the liquidation very carefully."
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