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Thursday, December 10, 1998 Published at 10:55 GMT


Business: The Company File

Royal Doulton cuts 1,000 UK jobs

Cracks have begun to appear at Royal Doulton

Fine china and crystal glass manufacturer Royal Doulton has announced it is cutting 1,000 jobs in the UK. Falling sales have forced the company to scale back its production.

Most of the jobs will go in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, the home of the world famous china maker.


[ image: Fragile times ahead for the china and glass maker]
Fragile times ahead for the china and glass maker
The ceramics industry has been thrown into crisis following a crash in demand for products in Asia. The strong pound and financial turmoil in the region has created huge problems for Royal Doulton and its rivals.

Royal Doulton is not alone in suffering from the high value of sterling, which has decimated UK exporters' profits.

The group's woes will add to calls for further cuts in interest rates to reduce pressure on manufacturers and stimulate UK consumer demand.

Sales crash


[ image: Factories will be shut early for Christmas and warehouses will close]
Factories will be shut early for Christmas and warehouses will close
Royal Doulton said that sales have fallen by 5% over the past 11 months and that its future looks gloomy. A further 200 jobs will be cut worldwide.

Two warehouses will be shut in an effort to slash overheads. The majority of the group's factories will also close early for Christmas and re-open later in the New Year.

Over half the UK-based jobs will disappear by early January and most of the remainder will go by Easter.

Royal Doulton's shares collapsed 22p to 62p on the news.

Annual savings

Royal Doulton hopes that the measures will mean annual savings of £20m.

The company said it would not be able to offer a final dividend this year and added that it expected 1999 sales to be lower than 1998.

Manufacturing plants Caithness Glass and Royal Crown Derby will emerge almost entirely unscathed by the cutback.



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The Company File Contents


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