Waterford outlines recovery plan

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The Independent Online

Waterford Wedgwood, the ceramics and crystal company, outlined a recovery plan to turn around the fortunes of the group yesterday after suffering from a fall-off in demand and the weak dollar.

Redmond O'Donoghue, the chief executive, said the company was now focused on reducing debts and costs, freeing up capital and increasing its marketing spend.

Waterford Wedgwood posted a pre-tax loss of €45m (£30m) in the year to the end of March after a €7.2m profit the previous year. Sales were down 13 per cent. "We all recognise these results are not satisfactory," Mr O'Donoghue said. About 50 per cent of sales are generated in the US, where the weak dollar also impacted on results.

The sale of its All-Clad cookware division to a French rival for $250m will be used to pay down debt. It is also reviewing its manufacturing processes to free up to £40m of capital.