De La Rue drops passport contract appeal

British firm De La Rue has said it will not appeal against the Government's controversial decision to choose a Franco-Dutch company to make the new blue UK passports after Brexit.

De La Rue, the current passport provider, said that it had "considered all the options", but would not challenge the move, which will see the £490 million contract handed to Gemalto, which has its headquarters in Amsterdam and is listed on the French and Dutch stock exchanges.

De La Rue also confirmed that its full-year earnings would be hit by a write-off of about £4 million related to the bid costs for the passport tender.

It said underlying operating profits were now forecast in the "low to mid £60s million range", against previous expectations for between £71 million to £73 million.

The firm added: "De La Rue will continue to fulfil its existing contract and assist with transition to the new supplier and is therefore expecting no impact on the group's performance in the next 18 months."

The Government has come under heavy fire for its decision to choose a European firm for the contract, but has claimed it will save £120 million during the lifetime of the 11-and-a-half-year contract.

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