Shares in engineering firm Smiths Group - whose businesses do everything from weapons detection to supplying medical equipment - opened 0.88 per cent lower this morning, after it reported a six per cent fall in underlying profit for the year ended 31 July, with a mixed performance across the different areas of its business.
Profit fell to £378m in 2014, compared with £486m in 2013. There was no change in underlying revenue.
The engineering company blamed the overall poor performance on foreign exchange volatility, but said some of its businesses, namely John Crane and Flex-Tek, experienced an increase in underlying profit and margins.
"Underlying revenue and margins rose in John Crane, Smiths Interconnect and Flex-Tek but were offset by declines in Smiths Medical and Smiths Detection,” said chief executive Philip Bowman.
“Smiths Medical saw revenue grow in the second half driven by good growth in its infusion franchise. Smiths Detection's performance was disappointing with a difficult trading environment and one-off charges of £30m in the year. Our overall results were significantly reduced by foreign exchange headwinds.”
He added that the company’s focus will be on mid-term growth for the foreseeable future: "Our strategy remains to accelerate medium-term growth and reposition the business through consistent investment in product innovation, sales effectiveness, and expansion in higher growth markets.”