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Last Updated: Monday, 9 January 2006, 15:05 GMT
Golden Wonder in administration
Golden Wonder snacks
Golden Wonder has been finding life tough
Crisp manufacturer Golden Wonder has been placed in administration, putting about 850 jobs at risk.

The firm, whose brands include Golden Wonder, Nik-Naks and Wheat Crunchies, has suffered falling sales and fierce competition in recent years.

Administrators Kroll said the firm had made "significant" losses in 2005, on top of a 10.8m loss reported in 2004.

Kroll said it hoped the firm could be rescued but warned that the own-label operation in Corby would close.

Crunch time

This is likely to lead to redundancies, and further restructuring of the business is also expected.

The company currently employs 350 staff in Corby, 380 in Scunthorpe and 120 at its headquarters in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

Unfortunately, despite its well-known name and brands, Golden Wonder has suffered in recent years
Adrian Wolstenhome, Kroll

Although own-label production of crisps and snacks will transfer to Scunthorpe, the Corby factory will remain open.

Adrian Wolstenhome, from Kroll, said he was hopeful that the entire business, or parts of the operation, could be sold on.

"Unfortunately, despite its well-known name and brands, Golden Wonder has suffered in recent years," he said.

"We hope that the administration will provide further time to review the options available.

"With such well-known and well-liked brands, we very much hope that a sale of all or parts of the business can be secured."

Tough competition

Golden Wonder has struggled to compete against Walkers, the UK's leading crisp manufacturer.

It was forced to closed its Skelmersdale factory in 2003, with the loss of 375 jobs, but it has been unable to stem its losses.

The firm's market share has declined and it has been saddled with increasingly unprofitable contracts.

"The UK market is dominated by a single crisp manufacturer and Golden Wonder has found it difficult to compete against this leader's strength in the market place," Mr Wolstenhome added.

The company held discussions with a number of potential buyers at the end of last year.

It is hoped that these talks can now be restarted and that the business will continue to trade while a rescue plan is devised.

The company generated sales of nearly 88m in 2004.


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