South Sudan boosts De La Rue profits

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The Independent Online

De La Rue, the Bank of England's banknote printer, saw its fortunes rebound in the first half, reporting a 22 per cent rise in profits, helped by a deal to supply currency to the new country South Sudan.

The company, which prints more than 150 national currencies, is hoping to profit from the Arab Spring and the eurozone crisis, which could result in changes in government and the resurrection of old currencies.

Tim Cobbold, who in January was parachuted in to turn around De La Rue in the wake of a production crisis that sent its shares and profits tumbling, said: "Regime change has the potential to create opportunities for De La Rue. Generally change in that sort of way offers potential to De La Rue and we follow these sorts of things closely."

The eurozone crisis "can create opportunities for us", he added.

De La Rue yesterday reported underlying profits before exceptional items of £29m in the six months to 24 September, as currency volumes jumped by 12 per cent to 2.8 billion notes. Profits at De La Rue fell by 68 per cent last year, hit by costs-associated production problems relating to its biggest customer, The Reserve Bank of India. That contract remains suspended.