Problems have deepened at troubled foodservice provider Woodward Foodservice just weeks after MD Ed Hyslop and trading director Dave Howarth were dismissed by controlling investor Baugur amid rumours of cashflow problems.

Jobs at Woodward's head office in Deeside were this week put under review for a 30-day consultation period.

A significant proportion of the 224 employees are thought to be affected, but not sales and telesales teams. The delivered wholesaler currently employs 2,200 people at 28 sites throughout the UK.

The latest developments are the latest in a long line of problems dating back to the purchase of DBC Foodservice in August.According to one wholesale industry leader, Baugur was forced to give Woodward a cash injection, which preceded an inquest and the subsequent departures of Hyslop and Howarth.

Cashflow problems hit hardest in February and April, and up to 85 key suppliers refused to provide stock said the source. Another source said the new management, headed by acting MD Andrew Ramsden, has stressed it would correct issues with major suppliers.

However in the case of small operators, he claimed "payments were only being made on the filing of court papers".

A spokesman for Woodward confirmed there had been late payment issues, although these had now been resolved, and admitted relationships with some suppliers remained strained. He claimed the figure of 85 suppliers was an exaggeration.

The purchase of DBC and the winning of a £130m contract to supply the MoD in October increased turnover from £210m to £550m..

According to other wholesale sources the MoD contract has been fraught with difficulties and the situation came to a head over Christmas.

"Because they had no previous experience with the MoD, several hundred thousand pounds worth of stock had to be destroyed over Christmas," he said, claiming that Woodward overestimated the amount of stock needed over the festive period.

However, the Woodward spokesman denied any problems with the contract.