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June 1, 1994

DE LA RUE FIGURES DELIGHT THE MARKET ON A DULL DAY FOR TRADING

By CBR Staff Writer

Against the market, shares in De La Rue Plc put on 16 pence at 859 pence in early trading yesterday after the company accompanied solid results with a higher-than-expected dividend of 20 pence a share, up from 17 pence last time. Observers also liked a better-than-expected growth in cash reserves, to #267.7m, up by #96.8m compared with this time last year and some #20m more than forecast; #68.3m was from internally-generated cash. De La Rue reports that it has started its new financial year with strong order books and that trading so far is encouraging. Pre-tax profit for the year to March 31 was up 20.2% to #123.7m before exceptional items. The electronic sectors of the business are Transaction Systems, which covers personalised plastic cards and the systems that read and authenticate them, and Payment Systems. The former saw sales increase by 12.4% and profits by 72.4%, with Fortronic of Fife marked out for particular mention, and Payment Systems saw increased sales, particularly in the US and Europe apart from Germany. It improved margins through the rationalisation of some manufacturing in Sweden and the US. De La Rue did not attach absolute numbers to the percentages.

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