De La Rue print run is in line to drive up profits

Michael Bow
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BANKNOTE printer De La Rue yesterday said it was on track to surpass the £100m operating profit mark next year after posting a seven per cent increase in banknote orders for the past 12 months – despite a big delay in orders.

The Basingstoke based firm, which also prints passports for governments, said its order book for banknote production was £195m for the full year ending September 2012, boding well for hitting its £100m operating targets next year. Full year operating profits for 2011/12 were £63.1m.

A company trading statement released two weeks ago said “significant” numbers of orders had been delayed and would not feed into this year’s results. De La Rue boss Tim Cobbold yesterday said he was “confident” the firm would receive the orders for shipment next year to meet the £100m profit target.

Despite the strong pipeline of new business in its banknote division, revenues dropped seven per cent due to a reduction in the amount of banknote paper it sells. Group revenues rose three per cent to £245m in the six months to 29 September.

Its print volumes held up, increasing four per cent. The company has more than half of its revenues coming from banknote printing. The rest comes from its “solutions” arm, which includes passport production, where revenue rose 20 per cent in the period.

In passport printing, the firm printed its ten millionth passport during the period and saw a 33 per cent rise in revenues. Overall, the firm lifted half-year operating profits by five per cent to £33m.