Victoria on the floor as it dives into the red after board coup

The new chairman of Victoria yesterday outlined the struggles facing the company that made the red carpet at last year's Royal Wedding, as it posted a half-year loss of £700,000.

That was reversed from a pre-tax profit of £1.7m last year and comes one month after Geoff Wilding led a boardroom coup that saw chairwoman Katherine Innes Ker kicked off the board.

Mr Wilding warned: "Victoria is facing some real challenges. The group is experiencing strong economic headwinds in each of its major markets, has a cost structure that is too high for its current level of business, limited competitive advantages, excessive debt levels in the UK, surplus production capacity in a sector with abundant surplus production capacity, and a considerable oversupply of stock in the UK."

Victoria's revenues declined by 7.8 per cent in the first half to £35.99m. The historic Midland carpets firm cuts its interim dividend from 3.5p to 2p.

Mr Wilding said: "Since our appointment on 3 October, we have begun to… address the key issues facing the business."

He warned the firm would only break even (before exceptional items) for the full year.

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