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

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The Independent Online

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.