Monday 24 June 2019 12:09 pm

De La Rue clearout continues as two more directors step down

The boardroom exodus at banknote printer De La Rue has accelerated, with two members announcing retirement plans today.

Chair Philip Rogerson and senior independent director Andy Stevens will both leave the firm, which recently lost the contract to print British passports.

“The chairman has indicated his intention to retire from the board as part of an orderly succession process following the appointment and integration of the new chief executive,” De La Rue said in a statement.

Chief executive officer (CEO) Martin Sutherland was ousted from the ailing firm less than a month ago, after a profit warning sent share to a 15-year low.

Rogerson will leave the company after a new CEO is appointed and integrated, the company said.

De La Rue has come under pressure from shareholder Crystal Amber in the wake of the warning, with the activist investor branding its board “clueless” and describing its difficulties as “entirely self-inflicted”.

In its warning last month, De La Rue revealed a drop in profits, which it pinned on increased competition and a £18.1m loss that arose after Venezuela’s central bank was unable to pay it for note-printing services. It had made two profit warnings during 2018.

The 198-year-old firm, which is the world’s biggest designer and maker of banknotes, last year lost a contract worth £490m to print Britain’s blue post-Brexit passports to a European competitor. After being defeated by Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto, it sold off its passport-making arm for £42m to a Swiss firm.

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