Ingersoll-Rand disappoints

INGERSOLL-RAND, a maker of cooling systems and security technology, yesterday reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings and issued a weak profit forecast.

Ingersoll, which also makes industrial compressors, faces slow commercial construction markets and rising costs for raw materials that are increasingly offsetting the margin boost from recent deep cost-cutting.

In the fourth quarter, Ingersoll earned $212.1m (£131.7m), or 62 cents per share, compared with $139.4m, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier.

The earnings fell short of Wall Street estimates by three cents a share. Revenue rose 13 per cent to $3.71bn, compared with Wall Street forecasts for $3.58bn. Sales were stronger than expected in every business, but profit margins consistently missed forecasts.