No word yet on drachma job for De La Rue

 

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The Independent Online

De La Rue printed 11,000 tonnes of banknotes last year, but its chief executive played down the chances of adding Greek drachmas to the list yesterday.

While the printer is said to have drawn up contingency plans, Tim Cobbold refused to comment on the Greek crisis yesterday but noted: "In terms of printing a currency it does take some time. You have to design it and there is a difference between doing a new currency and topping it up."

De La Rue, which designed almost half of all the banknotes issued in the world last year, has also produced Diamond Jubilee stamps and security holograms for Euro 2012 tickets. Mr Cobbold, who took over at the beginning of last year and immediately had to fend off an opportunistic bid from its French rival Oberthur, is focused on reviving the group's struggling fortunes.

The company is finding things tougher in the banknotes market as rivals increase their capacity, but it is on track to hit its target of operating profits in excess of £100m by 2013-14.

A contract to produce British passports helped lift operating profits by 56 per cent to £63.1m in the year to 31 March, while Mr Cobbold is cutting costs, with two sites earmarked for closure. De La Rue's orders rose 14 per cent to £248m.

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