Folli Follie mulls Links of London sale amid charges.

1st May 2019.

The owner of high street jewellery chain Links of London is reportedly considering a sale of the business amid financial woes, as the British jewellery retailer implements a turnaround plan to avoid insolvency. The Folli Follie Group, which owns Links of London, is facing criminal charges and fines of £17m from Greek authorities for market manipulation offences, after it emerged last year that the group had inflated its Asian sales by 90% to misrepresent a $45m loss as a $316m profit. As the group looks to refinance, reports have indicated that it could seek to sell off the Links of London chain.

British jeweller sees growth from turnaround strategy

The news of a potential sale comes as Links of London is in the midst of implementing a radical, five-year turnaround strategy under new chief executive Annia Spiliopoulos. In a bid to restructure its finances, the company has closed 15 store in the US, cut 85 jobs, and moved its headquarters back to London, in total trimming £5.1m off its balance sheet. In addition, a combination of staff streamlining, store relocations and renegotiations of supplier contracts have secured the jewellery company a further £2.1m in savings. As the turnaround plan reaches its sixth month, newly published data shows that Links has seen its first like-for-like sales growth in three years, with a 3% increase in the year to the end of March 2019.

CVA trend continues on high street

In light of poor trading conditions and the rising threat of online retailers to high street businesses, analysts had previously speculated that the struggling jewellery chain could be set to follow the lead of numerous other retailers and pursue a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in order to cut down on store rent costs. Whilst Links of London has denied these claims and appears to be seeing improvement with its turnaround plan, the possibility of going into administration remains a significant threat for high street retailers across the UK. In the last month alone, major British retailers Debenhams and the Arcadia Group – which owns Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis – have both announced plans to seek CVAs, as costly, long-term lease agreements deal a fatal blow to retailers facing lower sales and increasing wage costs.

Do you supply goods and services on credit?

If so, the above news will be of concern.

Any time a big business goes into administration, it usually means its creditors, those who supplied it with goods and services on credit will lose out.

However, The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply a company that has entered administration then it is too late for that account.

However if you are going to continue to supply to businesses on credit, CPA can help you identify the risks and minimise their impact.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When your customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

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CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cash-flow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

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CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cashflow.

Don’t let your bankers control you,  contact CPA today.

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

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