ANNUAL pre-tax profits for international banknote printer De La Rue have risen by 37 per cent this year.

Last week the 201-year-old company reported profits had risen from £43.7million to £59.8m in the year to March 29.

Revenue increased by six per cent to £513.3m and underlying operating profits increased by 43 per cent to £90.5m.

De La Rue executive chairman Philip Rogerson reported a strong year of trading, despite a more challenging currency market.

He said: “These results reflect the significant progress that De La Rue has made through implementing the three year Improvement Plan which has grown profits from £40m in 2010-11 to £90m in 2013-14.

“De La Rue is in fundamentally better shape today, and with a culture of continuous improvement embedded in our business, there will be further efficiencies ahead.

“We entered the new financial year with a good order book, albeit reflecting the recent more difficult pricing environment in the currency market. The board’s expectations for 2014-15 remain unchanged.”

Mr Rogerson became executive chairman after chief executive Tom Cobbold resigned in March to run exhibitions and communications group UBM. He will return to being non-executive chairman after a new chief executive has been appointed.

De La Rue, which is headquartered in Jays Close, Viables, Basingstoke, is in the midst of renewing its bid to continue to print banknotes for the Bank of England.

If De La Rue is successful, it is thought that the contract, which for the first time will involve printing plastic banknotes, will be worth £1billion. The current 10-year contract comes to an end next March.

Employing 4,000 people around the world, De La Rue is the world’s largest commercial banknote printer and passport manufacturer.

It also produces a wide range of other security products, including tax stamps, authentication labels and identity documents and manufactures high speed cash sorting and banknote inspection equipment.