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De La Rue secures Kenya currency gig despite Sh1.2 billion profits slump

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The next generation of currency notes is nearly upon us, and British banknote manufacturer De La Rue will spearhead Kenya’s new generation currency with a first batch of notes expected in 2019.

De La Rue has been operating in the country for more than 25 years and had been engaged in a row over the securing of the tender with the Central Bank of Kenya to print the new generation banknotes that are a requisite of the 2010 Kenya constitution.

In October, the Court of Appeal, reversed a High Court decision to quash the awarding of the tender finding the procurement process to have been above board. This set the stage for De La Rue to continue its currency providing services.

According to Business Daily Africa, financial reports of De La Rue posted at the London Stock Exchange show that the value of the deal is around Ksh11.1 billion over a period of three years. In 2019, De La Rue expects to roll out Ksh2.4 billion of the investment.

The UK based firm which exports to around 142 countries in the world released its half year financial results on Tuesday, posting an operating profit of Ksh2.2 billion.

A similar accounting period for the previous financial year ended September 2017 had seen the security printer firm record an operating profit of Ksh3.4 billion.

De La Rue’s net debt however was “above expectation” according to the firm, with the company saying that the timing of deliveries in the half year contributed to the Ksh12.3 billion net debt.

The firm’s chief executive Martin Sutherland however said that a 12 month period order book of Ksh47.7 billion would propel De La Rue towards its full year expectations.

“We maintain a strong order book and pipeline which provides good visibility for the second half of this year and into next year. … we are confident that we will meet our expectations for the full year,” said Mr. Sutherland.

De La Rue’s order intake for the half year ended September 2018 was up 30% year on year, while the production of 3.6 billion bank notes saw a 3% bump in banknote volumes.

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