UK’s De La Rue delays turnaround plan on COVID woes

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Jan 24 (Reuters) – British banknote printer De La Rue said on Monday its turnaround plan would be delayed by a year, while warning of annual profit below market expectations as increased employee absences due to coronavirus infections hit output.

The company, which also makes passports, said other challenges such the chip crisis and supply chain cost inflation were also taking a toll on the group and that it was cutting more costs to deal with the pressures.

“While this trading update is disappointing, it should be seen as a delay to reaching our Turnaround Plan objectives, rather than indicating that a change of direction is required,” said Chief Executive Officer Clive Vacher.

De La Rue said it still expects to deliver year-on-year growth in its financial year 2022-23 despite the challenges, although at a slower rate.

It forecast adjusted operating profit to be in the range of 36 million to 40 million pounds ($48.73 million-$54.15 million)versus market expectations of 45 million to 47 million pounds for the year ending March.

($1 = 0.7387 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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