De La Rue extends Maltese manufacturing site
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
De La Rue has announced plans to more than double the size of its Malta facility – making it the biggest banknote site in the group – just nine months after it ceased currency printing at its Gateshead site in the UK.
The security printing group has been manufacturing in Malta since 1975.
Its existing 14,000sqm factory there will be expanded to 29,000sqm, in an investment supported by Malta’s economic development agency and the government of Malta, and that will create around 100 new jobs.
For De La Rue’s Currency division, the PLC said the move would “create the largest banknote facility in De La Rue's portfolio, provide a more flexible manufacturing footprint, and further solidify the Company's Business Continuity Plan.
“It marks a continuation in De La Rue's progression towards more sustainable manufacturing, which in turn supports the group's customers to reduce their environmental impact,” the group stated, and will extend De La Rue's “industry 4.0 journey”, with Maltese manufacturing fully integrated with the firm’s traceability software platforms.
It will also double the capacity for tax stamps and brand protection labels at its Authentication division.
CEO Clive Vacher commented: “The De La Rue Malta site has a strong track record of effectively managing investment and consistently meeting targets against customer commitments. We continue to be humbled and honoured by the welcome of the Maltese people and government, and we look forward to further long-term continued cooperation."
De La Rue said that the investment was aligned to the Turnaround Plan announced last summer following the controversial loss of its UK passport contract, and would be delivered “without exceeding the original total of £79.8m investment” outlined in the plan.
As part of the Turnaround Plan the group also ceased banknote printing at its Gateshead site at the end of last year. This resulted in a £22.6m exceptional charge, primarily related to asset writedowns, reorganisation and redundancy costs.
At the beginning of the year De La Rue also announced a £20m expansion of its Safeguard polymer manufacturing operation in Westhoughton, Lancashire that will create around 70 new roles.
Unite national officer Louisa Bull commented: “The Malta news was a surprise but we were properly briefed via the European Works Council. Coming so quickly after the closure of Gateshead there were a few questions raised by the membership but our two key sites at Debden and Westhoughton are still on track to get strong investment and or job growth, so this is not a decision taken that should detrimentally impact the UK sites we still have.”
The slimmed down Gateshead site is still involved with authentication and some other activities including platemaking.