4R Blog

RSS Feed

Orkney jewellery firm enters administration

Date Added: 02/04/2013  

A jewellery firm that employs more than 150 people across Scotland has gone into administration.

Ortak - which is based in Orkney - has appointed administrators in an effort to sell the business after it was hit by the economic downturn.

The company said the rising cost of raw materials and reduced high-street demand have led to a significant reduction in sales.

In a statement, Ortak said: "The board regrets to announce that after an exhaustive review of the business we feel unable to continue to trade outside of insolvency protection."

Managing director Alistair Gray's father Malcolm founded the company in 1967 and the family-run firm appeared to have a bright future just three years ago.

In 2010, Ortak built a new £130,000 outlet in Stirling, while its Glasgow branch was relocated to the St Enoch Centre at a cost of £200,000. The company's operating profits for the same year were £575,000.

However, this figure slipped to £214,000 in 2011 and the firm recorded a loss of £77,336 in 2012.

This is despite a significant reduction in costs, with savings of £580,000 made as a result of a pay freeze and other measures. Ortak reduced the amount of precious metals in certain products, with Mr Gray describing its rings, bracelets and necklaces as "lighter".

Local MSP Liam McArthur said: "Ortak is a strong, popular and iconic Orkney brand. Despite the difficult trading conditions at present, I hope that these attributes will enable the company to weather this storm".

As well as 13 stores across Scotland, the chain also has shops in Sheffield and Newcastle.

When it first launched in Kirkwall in the 1960s, Ortak focussed on producing pieces influenced by the local landscape. Its celtic designs became increasingly popular and it was soon recognised as one of the leading names in UK jewellery manufacture.

Ortak joins JJB Sports, Comet, HMV, Blockbuster and Jessops as the latest high street chain to face financial difficulties in recent months.

Need advice on Winding up Orders? Call 0800 9020123

Posted by Julie Cutts

Get the Help You Deserve

0800 90 20 123

Urgent Help Call 24/7

020 7183 2606

We'll Call You

Request a Callback