Civil engineering and earth moving group Pryor is understood to have issued an intention to appoint administrators.

The company is understood to still be trading and exploring a number of options including a sale.

Although had received reports that the firm's tipper fleet at its Harlow headquarters was parked up, a contact at the firm said that while some staff had been stood down, no redundancies had been made, and "the lorries are out" as part of its aggregrates and muckaway business.

CJ Pryor (Plant) has an O-licence authorising up to 32 vehicles and ten trailers at Harlow and authorisation for up to 8 vehicles at a location in Rainham.

The group had a turnover of £27m in the year 29 March 2015 and made a pre-tax profit of more than £474,000. The group is split into CJ Pryor (Plant) and CJ Pryor (Contracts) with the former contributing £9.8m of total annual turnover and £15,000 of pre-tax profit.

The company was Tip-ex Haulier of the Year in 2013.

UPDATE: On behalf of Pryor FRP Advisory has issued the following statement:

CJ Pryor (Holdings) Limited, CJ Pryor (Plant) Limited and CJ Pryor (Contracts) Limited, the Harlow-based earth-moving construction business, has put itself up for sale whilst continuing to service existing customer orders.

Whilst a sale may secure the best long-term future for the business management has started a consultation process for all 77 staff in the event that redundancies are required.

The business specialises in earth moving, civil engineering and related earth moving haulage for infrastructure projects ranging from road building to reservoir construction as well as for quarrying, landfill construction, land restoration and land reclamation.

The business has nearly 70 years of trading history and works with a range of big construction contractor firms on larger infrastructure projects.

Owing to a severe short-fall in working capital, management had sought to restructure the business but despite those efforts it has been left with no viable option other than today to send home the majority of its workforce, whilst management explores all options as part of a process to try and secure a longer term more viable future.

It is anticipated the business will retain a core team of 15 to 20 of its 77 staff, to help service existing orders and liaise with customers, whilst seeking a buyer for the ongoing business and trade.

In the meantime pressure on cash-flow has resulted in the need to file an intention to appoint administrators in order to secure the business' current ongoing work and assets in the interest of all its stakeholders.