Prout Catamarans Went Bankrupt
So I dug some more and bought a credit report. Here are some general findings, assuming the report is correct. FY refers to Fiscal Year, which the report usually ended in 30 of April. So when I state FY98, it means I am referring to the year that ended on April 30, 1998.
1) Prout Catamarans'' sales collapsed much earlier than ''99. From FY97 to FY99 they were halved. However, the significant drop came in FY98 when they went from £6MM (FY97) to £4MM. Since then, they have been about £3MM p.a.
2) The payroll was fairly steady: 30-40 people. Considering that sales just collapsed, that seemed kind of odd. Furthermore, there are plans to expand production in new facilities built nearby. Either people are expected to sit around or it took a lot longer to finish boats than planned. The latter is more likely.
3) Operating profits were slim until FY97, then went ever-faster into the red. Every boat was sold at a gross profit but a net loss. That''s what happens when COGS reach 97%.
4) My best estimate for actual production volume given the number of people employed and revenue is between 10-12 boats per year. That''s not much, probably less than the annual production of just the Lagoon 38 alone.
5) Meanwhile, Prout was depending to the tune of 30% of sales on current liabilities (accounts payable). Judging by the number of successful court cases taken out against Prout in the three months prior to the receivership declaration, a number of them had gotten fed up.
For more analysis, see my <a href= http://www.vonwentzel.net/Prout/Bankruptcy.html>Prout Bankruptcy web-page</a>. It has slightly more information.