THE world’s largest banknote printer and passport manufacturer has been praised for helping to boost British exports.

During a visit to De La Rue’s plant in Gateshead, Mark Simmonds, the Foreign Office’s Minister for Africa said the firm was an example of a successful manufacturer exporting across

the world.

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De La Rue employs about 450 people at its North-East base.

The factory was identified by the minister as typical of the type of the British business the

government is keen to support to capitalise on the opportunities that exist across sub-

Saharan Africa.

The firm, founded by Thomas de la Rue in 1813, makes notes for more than 150 countries, including Botswana, South Sudan and Uganda.

Mr Simmonds, said; ‘It is only when you visit a facility such as this that you appreciate the complexity associated with printing banknotes and other

security documentation that, to a certain extent, we take for granted. Having met a number of the highly skilled De La Rue workforce I can understand why the company is

the world’s leading commercial banknote printer exporting across the world, including Africa.”

In a trading update De La Rue chairman Philip Rogerson said the three months to July 24 has been satisfactory, and he expected performance for the second half of the year will have a “higher than usual weighting” on financial performance.

The company hopes to retain its flagship contract to make notes for the Bank of England when it comes up for renewal next year.