Tullis Russell in administration

Hot on the heels of the collapse of Paperlinx’s European operations comes news that the Fife-based paper maker Tullis Russell has also entered administration.

In the year to 31 March 2014, the company sold 126,000 tonnes of paper and board. It recorded a turnover of £124.6 million, but suffered a pre-tax loss of £3.4 million. It has incurred cumulative losses of £18.5 million over the last five years, largely as a result of weakening demand and pressure on its margins.

According to KPMG, Blair Nimmo and Tony Friar were appointed joint administrators on the 27th April. Nimmo commented: “We will be working with government agencies to minimise the impact on employees. We would encourage any party with an interest in acquiring all, or parts, of the business to make contact with us as soon as possible.” 

Tullis Russell had been looking for a buyer since October last year but has now opted for administration to drastically cut the costs. This means making 325 staff redundant immediately with the remaining 149 likely to follow shortly.

KPMG claims that the paper sector is in decline due to a general move from paper to digital. But the strengthening of Sterling against the Euro also affected Tullis Russell’s European exports, as has the rising cost of wood pulp.

The company, which dates back to 1809, had made considerable efforts to restructure and to reduce costs. This included installing a £200m biomass plant on site with RWE Npower to reduce energy costs.

The closure only affects the paper making part of the Tullis Russell group. The Group’s Coating business based in Bollington, Cheshire and its Image Transfer business based in Ansan, Korea are not affected by the administration and continue to trade as normal.


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