De La Rue’s annual profit soars thanks to cash printing and lower costs

(Reuters) – De La Rue posted a 61% increase in annual profit on Wednesday after printing more banknotes and cutting costs as part of a turnaround plan, with the new fiscal year off to a good start, performance that met society’s expectations.

The over 200-year-old company, which struggled with high debt levels, halved its net debt to 52.3million pounds ($ 74.05million) at the end of March , helped by its fundraising of 100 million pounds in July.

Putting Kenyan shillings into Sri Lankan rupees, De La Rue’s currency division profited from the pandemic, with central banks around the world having to print billions of dollars in banknotes to restart their crisis-stricken economies.

“We see a strong business portfolio for the 2021/22 fiscal year and we continue to expect to deliver all the financial and operational benefits of the turnaround plan during the year,” said CEO Clive Vacher.

The company has been trying to turn around its fortunes since losing a contract to manufacture new UK passports in 2018, with Vacher leading efforts to refocus on polymer banknotes to replace paper.

The company, which prints billions of tickets a year, said adjusted operating profit rose to £ 38.1million for the year ended March, from £ 23.7million a year earlier.

(1 USD = 0.7063 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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