Boss de La Rue ‘not sorry’ for British passport straight

The boss of banknote printer De La Rue has defended his short-lived battle with the British government over its decision not to renew its contract to print British passports.

Martin Sutherland, Executive Director, said he “has no regrets” about his heartfelt response to the loss of the Internet for the British passports, which De La Rue will continue to print until mid-2019.

“It didn’t hurt my position and all my conversations with investors support,” he added. “We have a good strategy and the achievement of reliable results.”

De La Rue has hit the headlines in March when he lost a 10-year contract of £490m for the design and printing of the British passport French-Dutch competitor gemalto, a few days after its Finance Director quit and it warned on profits.

Mr. Sutherland has challenged Prime Minister Theresa may to visit the company’s Gateshead plant and “to explain to his loyal employees, why it makes sense to offshore the production of British icons”. Despite the adoption of heavyweight legal advice on how the prize contest he quickly gave up the struggle, saying that “the risk-reward does not stack up”.

De La Rue had spent 4 million pounds at auction to renew the passport, the contract, which has 200 employees.

Revenues in the company rose 7pc to £493.9 m in the year to 25 March, with pre-tax profits almost doubled to $ 113.6 million rubles., but these figures were supported by the £60m sale of its paper-making business.

Exposing their company was better than the 4pc in the amount of 426.4 m, but operating profit fell 11pc to $ 62.8 M.

The bulk of De La Rue comes from the currency printing by the Bank of England core support

Credit:
Alamy

Mr Sutherland rejected the proposal that weakened the company’s share price vulnerable to a takeover, and said it was to maintain its current membership advisers: Morgan Cazenove, Rothschild and Investec.

He added: “we have a strong balance sheet we’ve had in five years, the debt compared to £120m to less than 50 million pounds, the Pension deficit has gone from £altitude 237m to £87.6 m”.

De La Rue

Mr. Sutherland said the review was launched so de La Rue could learn from the fiasco of the passport contract – a situation he called “unique.” He added: “it’s too early to say that we can learn”.

Enough for a prestige contract won’t hurt the ability of De La Rue to win identifies the products of other countries, he insisted, adding the company has recently agreed deals with Australia, Bangladesh, Malta and the Dominican Republic.

Chief Executive de La Rue Martin Sutherland says he “has no regrets” about his reaction to the loss of the passport contract UK

De La Rue is looking to expand its activities outside its dominant to make monetary transactions, branching into the Analytics software used by Central banks to predict the demand for money and the seals and labels to guarantee the origin of goods.

“The demand for authentication grew by 100pc year,” Mr Sutherland said. “As online retail grows, it is important that consumers know they are buying the real thing.”

De La Rue will stimulate investment in research and development 13pc this year.

The company is also a market leader in the production of polymers used to print plastic banknotes, and doubled the output per year to 810 tons.

Engraver printing plates for 5 pounds produced by De La Rue

Credit:
Alamy

The order portfolio grew by 6PC for the year to £363м, but it is included in the UK passport, which will end in the next fiscal year, potentially leaving a hole in the accounts.

De La Rue profit forecast at the same level in the coming year dividends at 25P per share.

Shares rose 4pc on the results and at Accendo markets, said investors have been “rewarding de progressive thinking La Rue and views of less-than-Stellar guidance”.

Analyst Artem Hatsaturjants added: “now the ball on De La Rue court to prove the full faith and credit of the investor is justified, and that the company can recover from failures in their traditional products”.