April 18, 2018 / 6:53 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-De La Rue will not appeal loss of UK 'Brexit' passport contract

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LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - De La Rue said it would not appeal a decision to award the contract to make Britain's new blue post-Brexit passports to a foreign firm.

Prime Minister Theresa May had said Britain would change its passports from the burgundy shade used by most European Union countries to the traditional dark blue in an expression of British independence and sovereignty.

But reports that Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto had won the tender to produce the passport was criticised by some politicians and newspapers as unpatriotic, and De La Rue had said it would challenge the decision.

De La Rue, which also makes banknotes, said on Wednesday that having considered all options it would not appeal against the UK passport tender.

It said it would continue to fulfil its existing contract and assist with transition to the new supplier, and was expecting no impact on its performance in the next 18 months.

The company said in a trading update that its revenue for the year to end-March increased by about 6 percent year on year, with growth across all product lines.

Underlying operating profit would be in the low to mid 60s million pound range, reflecting a write off of about 4 million pounds related to the passport tender and delays in the shipment of some contracts in the last week of the year, it said. (Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton/Guy Faulconbridge)

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