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Sonex calls in administrators

Parent of 15 Sony Centres runs out of cash

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Sonex Communications has called in the administrators to seek a way forward for its 15 ailing Sony Centres.

The firm called in BDO LLP on 13 September after running into financial difficulties, but is continuing to trade with, as yet, no staff redundancies, according to a spokeswoman at Sony.

"Sony Europe will be examining options for the business and the stores moving forward, the details of which will remain confidential until a conclusion is reached", said Sony in a statement sent to The Reg.

"In the meantime all the stores will continue to trade as normal and all product warranties and customer orders related to Sonex Communications-operated stores will be honoured," it added.

Signs that things had gone pear-shaped in Sonex could be seen in its results for the year ended 31 March 2010, when sales slumped by 20 per cent to £24m and losses increased to £2.7m compared to £300,000 the year before.

This is despite the firm shedding £1m in overhead expenses by "efficiency improvements" and cutting stock levels to a more "sustainable level".

Alongside the numbers, Sonex bemoaned the perilous state of consumer spending on the high street, banks' reluctance to extend credit terms and increased competition from online shops and major retailers.

Sonex had operated 13 Debenhams concessions but decided to close these in the last financial year, which ended last March, along with three Sony stores, and had further proposals to slash overheads but it seems these did not work.

BDO did not respond to call for comment. ®

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