Tobacco supplier Palmer & Harvey in administration

Staff at the company's Brandon branch are affevted Credit: Palmer & Harvey

Britain's biggest tobacco supplier Palmer & Harvey has gone into administration, leaving 2,500 people out of work.

127 staff have been made redundant at the company's Brandon branch in Suffolk. Twenty one staff will remain at the depot on Wimbledon Avenue to help the administrators in winding the business up.

The wholesaler, which employed around 3,400 staff in total, has struggled with debts and efforts to restructure the business were unsuccessful.

The P&H Brandon site Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Any job loss at any time is sad news and at this time of year especially, we feel for the people who work there and their families at this time of year."

– Cllr James Waters, Forest Heath District Council

The company has around 90,000 customers ranging from small local corner stores to the UK’s largest supermarkets and it runs a delivery network of 14 regional distribution centres.

127 jobs will go at the Brandon site. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"The Palmer & Harvey name has been a trusted partner for retailers and suppliers for nearly 100 years. This is a devastating blow for everyone who has been involved in the business. The P&H Group has faced a challenging trading environment, and the need for significant restructuring has been recognised for some while. The company has insufficient cash resources to continue to trade beyond the short term and the directors have concluded that there is no longer any reasonable prospect of a sale. Therefore, the directors have had no choice but appoint administrators."

– Matthew Callaghan, joint administrator and PwC partner