Banknote printer De La Rue has reported a slip in sales and profits amid tough trading conditions.
Revenues fell to £214.9m in the six months to September 27 2014, 8% down on the £234m posted for the first half of the previous year, while underlying operating profit was 31% down on last year’s figure at £26.6m.
The company, which employs around 400 at its Gateshead operation, said continuing challenging market conditions have knocked financial performance but that the 12-month order book is £4m up since the year end at £222m and that currency market share is being maintained.
Philip Rogerson, chairman, said: “While market conditions have resulted in lower revenues, we have partially mitigated the impact in the first half through cost savings from operational efficiencies and have commenced a further rationalisation of our manufacturing footprint.
“As previously announced, we expect the challenging trading conditions within the currency market to continue and this, together with lower than expected new business in our solutions division, has impacted our outlook for 2014/15 and 2015/16.
“The board continues to believe that, while current conditions are tough, De La Rue remains a strong, profitable and cash generative business in a market with good medium and long term growth prospects.”
Martin Sutherland joined the business as chief executive on October 13 from defence firm BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, where he was managing director for six years.
On his first day in office the firm signed a new 10-year contract with the Bank of England to print bank notes.
Mr Sutherland said: “I am delighted to have joined De La Rue and I am confident that, notwithstanding the current challenging market conditions, the fundamental strengths of the business and the operational improvements achieved in recent years, position the Group well. Over the coming months I shall be evaluating the strategy of the Group and expect to report on this with the full year results in May 2015.”