Losses halve at Waterford Wedgwood

Irish crystal and luxury tableware maker Waterford Wedgwood has halved its annual pre-tax losses and expects to return to profit, it said today.

In the year to the end of March the pre-tax loss narrowed to 70.8m euros from 189.4m a year earlier, thanks to a cost-cutting programme. Sales at the company, which is controlled by Irish billionaire Anthony O’Reilly and his brother in-law, fell 4% to 741.5m euros.

The company said it intended to end the year profitably. “The results…demonstrate the achievements of the cost-rationalisation programme and our product development and marketing initiatives,” commented chief executive Peter Cameron. “We are confident that the improvements made in the last 12 months will continue and look forward to a profitable future for Waterford Wedgwood.”

The group makes china in Staffordshire and Asia and glass and crystal in Ireland. In the last two years it has closed several factories with the loss of some 2,200 employees

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