Waterford Wedgwood expects little effect from Dollar fall

The dollar“s recent drop isn“t likely to effect Waterford Wedgwood Plc“s full-year sales figures because of the company“s hedging strategy, the company“s finance director said on 26 June.
Shares…

The dollar“s recent drop isn“t likely to effect Waterford Wedgwood Plc“s full-year sales figures because of the company“s hedging strategy, the company“s finance director said on 26 June. Shares in the luxury-goods maker have been on the slide recently, in tandem with the dollar“s depression. Earlier in June, the company said trading conditions were showning little signs of life, and it said it expected the poor conditions to persist throughout the first six months of 2002. The company reported a pretax loss of EUR 14.3 million for its first quarter on sales of EUR 207.2 million. A restructuring programme, announced in November 2001, is destined to deliver annual savings of EUR 43 million from 2003 onward. Improving sales was always going to be an uphill task in the aftermath of the stellar years of 1999 and 2000, which saw the company prosper as a result of Millennium-themed products – and particularly crystal – commemorating the turn of the century. At the moment, the compant said that “green shoots” of economy recovery could be found in “certain components” of its business: in Japan generally, its All-Clad premium cookware unit and to a lesser degree its Wedgwood ceramics operation. Waterford Wedgwood makes 46% of sales in the US, 12% from Asia, 40% from Europe and 2% from the rest of the world.