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Money printer and passport producer De La Rue says it’s on track to deliver a pleasant surprise with its full-year results in May, saying today that its operating profits will likely be above the upper end of the market consensus of £66.4m.

The currencies business is performing in line with expectations, but the boost comes from products in identity, authentication and traceability.

The drop in the pound since last summer, initially seen as a clear plus, has turned out to be a mixed blessing, it adds:

While the sustained weakness of Sterling gives us a competitive advantage in the export market, this benefit is substantially offset by increased investment in R&D, product management and sales capability, as well as the rising cost of raw materials such as cotton. Hence overall the Board’s expectations for the financial year of 2017/18 remain unchanged.

Separately, chief operating officer Rupert Middleton is stepping down after six years with the company.

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