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Liberty stakeholder statement regarding Brexit
As a British Group with a substantial international footprint, Liberty’s operations span 5 continents and serve customers in almost every part of the world. We have a clear understanding of our global market, which has been built over the last quarter of a century. While we operate in a multi-currency, multi-product environment, our balance sheet has always been based on the US dollar and we expect that its improved performance against the British pound will have a positive impact on the Group’s financial results. Our global strategy is focused on growth and as a part of it, our overseas business will continue to provide stability while we continue to expand our portfolio of interests across diverse, but interconnected, UK sectors, including energy, steel, engineering and industrially-focused financial services.
Regardless of the UK’s relationship with Europe, Liberty’s plans are unchanged. The Group remains positive about the prospects for its UK steel interests – based on a more competitive business model – and is committed to working with all stakeholders and interested parties to deliver a more profitable and sustainable future for the sector as a whole. We believe firmly that effecting change is possible, and that it will have a beneficial impact on both cost and quality. Our GREENSTEEL strategy focuses on producing steel in the UK using local materials and sustainable energy while at the same time continuing to create value and employment in the downstream engineering sector and the wider industry. We welcome the stability that the early appointment of a new UK Government will bring and are very encouraged by the statements of our incoming Prime Minister about the need for an energy policy that secures supply and reduces user costs, along with a ‘proper’ industrial strategy, as well as a better R&D policy to encourage investors. All of these elements support Liberty’s plans for developing and growing industry in the UK and further afield, which, we repeat are unaffected by the Brexit vote.
We acknowledge that there will be some challenges in the short term as business and the financial markets adjust and work through the transition period. During this time, our focus will remain on our customers as we continue to provide them with the quality and continuity they require from us. We also expect that the present weakness of the pound will improve the performance of our businesses that target Eurozone markets, and that domestic demand for the imported products we provide will remain largely unchanged. At the same time we will continue to grow our business both organically and through acquisitions, as we have recently demonstrated with our investment in Poland.
We remain optimistic about the future as our plans have never depended on a single relationship or location. We are a Group that serves the global economy and, as such, Liberty will continue to seek and explore any new opportunities across every continent, including all parts of Europe.
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