Sori, the last independent manufacturer of industrial metal storage, has held up since March by launching a range of hydroalcoholic gel dispensers.
But the prudently accumulated cash is rapidly melting. Herve Valliet, its leader, had taken six years to rebuild it after the 2007-2008 crisis and here it is already 40%. This is why the boss of this isère-based SME with a turnover of 6 million euros decided to request a loan guaranteed by the State (PGE) in December, much later than many companies.
With its chartered accountant from Implid, they established the forecasts until 2023 and the outlook is not good for the fine sheet metal company – which still had 30 French competitors in 1986. The rush for Covid products has compensated temporarily the decline in conventional orders, cabinets, workbenches and metal lockers, for construction sites, workshops and commercial vehicles. “But the Covid demand is collapsing, and the rest is not starting again”, worries Hervé Valliet, caught between “The debt floor which goes up and the income ceiling which falls”.
He has no more news from his first client (12% of the activity), victim of the decline in public markets. And must face the reimbursement of 3.5 million euros of investments in robotization over the past three years. “It is now that I am entering the crisis”, said the leader in front of a sluggish order book. ” Nothing moves. Between confinements and teleworking, decisions are no longer made. “
He used the partial activity for several months before resolving to 5 layoffs among his welders. ” The hardest, he said, it’s the morale of the troops. As there are fewer of us, we are working full time again, but there will be no no end of year bonuses however. “ It is redoubling its commercial efforts to find alternative income with a range of lockers for craftsmen sold online and at design offices, with subcontracting services.
At Implid, no SME client has yet considered turning to commercial courts. “Social, fiscal and banking debt is not claimed from companies, it is an unprecedented situation”, notes Pierre-Yves Cerato, partner and lawyer specializing in insolvency proceedings. “For now, restructuring is being done artificially with partial unemployment, non-renewed fixed-term contracts, temporary work no longer called back, and subcontractors less mobilized”, he said. “We hardly see any more costs at this level in the last accounts closed on September 30, adds Joël Fraisse, associate accountant. But we are starting to see the first economic layoffs in the parts and machinery manufacturing industries. “