Melrose encouraged by trading at water meter business Elster

Marion Dakers
ENGINEERING investment group Melrose said it has seen encouraging signs in its water meter company Elster as overall trading remains on track.

The FTSE 100 company said Elster, which it bought in 2012, had grown sales by four per cent in the period since 1 July.

Once the company has completed a raft of disposals announced during the year, Elster will make up two-thirds of group revenues. Melrose hopes to benefit from the roll-out of smart metering across Europe.

Cash generation was strong, the firm said, in spite of the £80m spent on restructuring Elster.

Following the $1bn sale of lifting equipment companies Crosby and Acco, Melrose aims to return around £600m to shareholders “although the precise quantum of this has not yet been decided”.

“Revenue growth across the group still remains hard to find but there are some early signs that 2014 could also be a better sales environment,” the firm said in a statement yesterday.