De La Rue concedes in British passport row


British passport maker De La Rue is dropping an appeal against a decision to give Gemalto the lost out on a contract for the post-Brexit blue British ePassport.

At the same time, De La Rue issued a second profit warning in a month as it counted the cost of not winning the £490m contract, which was awarded to the Franco-Dutch company Gemalto.

De La Rue, which also makes polymer banknotes, said underlying operating profit was expected to be in the low-to-mid-£60m range for the year to 31 March. A few weeks ago, De La Rue had predicted profit of between £71m and £73m.

The company said the lower profit expectation reflected “the write-off of the [about] £4m bid costs related to the UK passport tender and delays in the shipment of certain contracts in the last week of the period”.

Trade union Unite said it was a “dark day for UK manufacturing”, with the loss of the contract coming as a blow to De La Rue’s passport printing factory in Gateshead.

The division, including passport printing at De La Rue, directly employs 313 staff, according to the group’s recent annual report.

De La Rue said it made the decision not to appeal following legal advice, concluding it was “not in the best interests of the company”.

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