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De La Rue : profit jumps seven-fold as turnaround plan bears fruit

11/25/2020 | 02:57am

(Reuters) - Banknote printer De La Rue reported a near seven-fold jump in first-half profit on Wednesday, buoyed by cost cuts under a turnaround plan, and said demand for cash has held up during the COVID-19 pandemic as central banks stock up.

The company, which lost the contract to make Britain's new blue post-Brexit passports at the end of September, said it was on track to save 23 million pounds ($30.74 million) from cost cuts in its fiscal year 2021.

De La Rue, which designed and manufactured the Bank of England's new polymer 20 pound note, has been focusing its efforts on delivering its turnaround plan, entailing cost reductions and investments in polymer notes and its authentication business.

In July, the company raised 100 million pounds in equity, dispelling material uncertainties that had clouded its future, and further bolstered its finances by extending a debt facility and temporarily reducing its pension contributions.

Chief Executive Officer Clive Vacher said performance for the company's fiscal year 2021 had been positive and that outlook for revenue, profit and net debt for the year was in line with its expectations.

The company, which prints billions of banknotes a year, said adjusted operating profit came in at 15.3 million pounds for the six months ended Sept. 28, compared with 2.2 million pounds a year earlier. Revenue fell 15.1% to 174.7 million pounds.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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