Revenues from oil and gas unit help lift Smiths

ENGINEERING and technology conglomerate Smiths Group yesterday posted a seven per cent increase in revenue for the year ended 31 July, boosted by sales to oil and gas companies.

Revenue for the FTSE 100 company, which has five main divisions – John Crane, Smiths Medical, Smiths Detection, Smiths Interconnect and Flex-Tek – came in at £3.04bn.

The John Crane division, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of mechanical seals, grew strongly over the period, reporting increased revenue of nine per cent.

Pre-tax profit fell to £463m from £497m last year, while the dividend was upped five per cent to 38p a share.

Emerging markets made up an increasing part of the business over the year, with revenues deriving from developing economies up 14 per cent. Developing economies such as China, Brazil and India now account for 15 per cent of group revenues.

Chief executive Philip Bowman said yesterday that Smiths is focused on increasing the amount of money it invests in marketing in emerging markets, in order to grow revenues.

He added that pressure on UK government spending was likely to continue, which could weigh on the business going forward.

However, Smiths said it expects sales to keep growing although spending cuts by governments could hurt some of its businesses.

Shares closed up 1.15 per cent.