Sales slump at Spectris

Precision instrument and controls company Spectris said sales took a further hit in the first half on weak car and mining sector demand, hurting its shares and prompting analysts to cut 2009 forecasts again. The British company, whose products have helped reduce fuel costs at power stations and cut the noise made by Japan’s Bullet trains, said yesterday first-half sales would be down 20 per cent, while operating profit would more than halve to about £20m.