Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

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.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

The Company File Contents

Relevant Stories

10 Dec 98 | The Economy
D-Day for interest rates

10 Dec 98 | The Economy
Job losses nationwide

08 Dec 98 | The Economy
Bad tidings for retailers

18 Oct 98 | The Economy
Firms 'losing confidence'

07 Oct 98 | The Economy
Workers demand interest rate cut

Internet Links

Royal Doulton

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles