I read with interest and some considerable disappointment the article in the Gazette dated 6th July under the following heading 'Banknote maker can see 'recovery signs''.

Basingstoke-based banknote maker De La Rue was reporting on its annual profits which it reported had increased for the year to March from £24.2m last year to £29.6m. This was obviously good news after a number of losses and turbulent times for the company over previous years.

However, I felt it was particularly insensitive of them to report in a local newspaper without a single mention of the closure of their paper-making factory at Overton Mill with the loss of several hundred jobs during the same 12-month period. Local people will be very aware how many of those employees who lost their jobs are now being faced with massive increases in the cost of living including unprecedented increases in their mortgages.

The chief executive reported that it had been a "challenging year" for the company. He may like to consider how challenging the year and future years will be for those redundant employees who will struggle to find similar employment locally. He also expects the company to make underlying earnings "in the low £20 million range" over 23/24 and there is "no material uncertainty" over their ability to continue as a going concern. He even mentions action the group has taken in recent months have played a part in stabilising the firm but still no mention of the closure at Overton.

Come on De La Rue, we all appreciate the problems your company has been going through in recent years but when reporting these matters it is vital you consider the misery for those you have "left behind" and how they are going to struggle in future years.

Peter Cowmeadow


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