Waterford given more time for talks

Friday 05 December 2008 07.17
Waterford Wedgwood - Hopes for more US dollar movements
Waterford Wedgwood - Hopes for more US dollar movements

Luxury goods group Waterford Wedgwood says its lenders have agreed to wait until December 12 while it continues talks with institutional investors on a possible investment in the company.

The company said it was in talks with the lenders to further extend what it called the 'forbearance' period, which relates to a number of conditions of its lending agreements.

The announcement came after the company last night reported pre-tax losses of €63.2m for the six months to October 4, up 13% from the loss of almost €50m a year earlier.

Revenue fell by 15% to €207.6m, though the fall was only 6% when currency movements were stripped out.

Chief executive David Sculley said it was clear that the group needed extra financing to continue with its business plan.

The company said sales in the first three months were in line with the previous year, but slowed in its second quarter as economic conditions worsened.

Waterford Crystal revenues were down 8% to €70m, with an operating loss of €10m, but Wedgwood sales were 5% ahead.

The company said recent currency movements, especially the stronger dollar, would provide it with a significant financial boost if they were sustained.