Royal Doulton looks to dish up pounds 1.5m in cost cuts next year

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Royal Doulton's chief executive, Patrick Wenger refused to rule out further job cuts at the company's UK base in Stoke following the recent announcement of 330 redundancies out of a workforce of 4,800.

The company is `looking at the cost base around the world', he said yesterday. These measures, which include a reduction in the size of the board to five executive directors from nine, are aimed at saving pounds 1.5m in costs next year.

The strength of sterling in the first half knocked pounds 4.5m off sales, and sales to tourists at the company's central London retail outlets were down 10 per cent. Group turnover in the first half fell by 2.2 per cent to pounds 111.6m and pre-tax profits, after taking account of a pounds 3.3m exceptional charge, fell from pounds 4.2m to pounds 1m.

The company will hold on to its traditional formal tableware market but future growth will be driven by casual tablewear (left), glass and cold-cast gift products.