Wedgwood fail to fill in financial cracks

Posted on 5 Jan 2009 by The Manufacturer

Waterford Wedgwood – the 250-year-old maker of fine china and porcelain with a brand portfolio that includes Royal Doulton – has lost its battle against economic turmoil and will today enter administration.

The revered crystal, crockery and knick-knack producer said it has failed to raise the £200 million it announced it was seeking in the latter stages of last year. It hopes to continue operations through a sale and has appointed Deloitte as its receiver and administrator. The company employs 1000 staff at its factory in Staffordshire and another 200 at a site in Ireland.

Group chairman Tony O’Reilly said: “We are consoled only by the fact that everything that could have been done, by management and by the Board, to preserve the Group, was done.” Meanwhile, chief executive David Sculley said he is “optimistic that ongoing discussions will result in a buyer being found for the businesses.”

Waterford Wedgwood’s decline mirrors its closest peer, Royal Worcester, which went into administration in November.