Dunhill hit by hedging: Currency mistakes could cost pounds 19m of profit this year

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The Independent Online
DUNHILL Holdings, the luxury goods group, yesterday confirmed that currency hedging could cost it pounds 19m of profit this year and warned that there could be a further pounds 13m next year.

It also warned that trading in the first three months of its current year had been disappointing and added that there was little of recovery in trading, particularly in the key Japanese market.

The warning came in the listing particulars describing the restructuring of Dunhill and Rothmans International proposed in June by Richemont, the Swiss group which owns 62 per cent of Rothmans. Rothmans in turn owns 52 per cent of Dunhill.

Under the proposals, Rothmans' stake in Dunhill will be transferred to a new holding company, Vendome, which will also include other luxury goods companies in the Richemont empire such as Cartier, Piaget and Baume & Mercier, leaving Rothmans as a pure tobacco group.

The losses are due to Dunhill's policy of covering its currency exposure for between six and 30 months ahead.

About 95 per cent of its sales are in foreign currencies - mainly Japan and the US - and it has traditionally sold sterling ahead of anticipated foreign currency receipts.

That means it has failed to benefit from the strength of the Japanese yen.

Its shares closed down 2p at 373p while Rothmans, which said that its first quarter had been similar to last year, closed 10p lower at 652p.

Bottom Line, page 23.

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