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British banknote printer De La Rue issues warning on its future

De La Rue, the British company that prints passports and banknotes, has warned it could collapse if its turnaround plans don’t work.

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The warnings come as it confirmed a loss of £9.2m for the first half of the financial year and suspended its dividends.

 

In its half-year results, the company said there is “a material uncertainty that casts significant doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern”, although it highlighted this was a worst-case scenario.

 

De La Rue employs around 2,500 people globally and prints cash for 140 central banks around the world.

 

Currently, all the Bank of England’s banknotes are printed by the company in Debden in Essex.

The company attributed some of its poor performance to an “unprecedented period of change” in which the chairman, chief executive, senior independent director and most of the executive team leaving or resigning in the first half of the year.

 

De La Rue chief executive Clive Vacher said: “At the same time, we have seen significant changes since the start of the year in the market for currency, including pricing pressure as a result of reduced overspill demand. This has had a material impact on volumes and profitability in the first half of 2019/20 and it will also take time for the currency market to normalise.

 

“In response, we are reviewing our cost base and will make the structural changes that will further strengthen our competitiveness in a challenging market.”

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