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.
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.
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.
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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