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De La Rue profits up on surge in demand

City A.M. Reporter
DE LA RUE, the world&rsquo;s largest non-government printer of banknotes, yesterday reported higher full year profit and reiterated its confidence on its prospects for 2009-10, when it expects the euro and dollar to remain strong.<br /><br />De La Rue, which produces over 150 national currencies, posted pre-tax profit of &pound;105m, up 19 per cent, on revenue 7.6 per cent higher at &pound;502.4m for the year to the end of March 2009.<br /><br />The company put the growth down to strong performances at its security paper and print businesses along with the beneficial effect of the stronger euro and dollar, as much of its business portfolio is based in these currencies.<br /><br />&ldquo;Around &pound;6m of profit growth was down to foreign exchange, which had a positive impact, and we expect that next year. We have confidence for the year ahead,&rdquo; chief executive James Hussey said in an interview.<br /><br />Analysts, on average, expected the company to report pre-tax profit of &pound;103m for the year.<br /><br />The company also said it was reviewing its options with regards to the sale of its 20 per cent stake in UK national lottery operator Camelot and the potential acquisition of coin maker Royal Mint.<br /><br />&ldquo;We are still reviewing our options in terms of Camelot,&rdquo; said Hussey. &ldquo;It (Royal Mint) is not a business that is close enough to us for it to become a slam-dunk,&rdquo; said Hussey.<br /><br />De La Rue said its order book was at a similar level to last year.