Smiths boosts sales by 12pc

SMITHS Group, the technology firm, reported a 12 per cent increase in first-half profits as margins improved to a 10-year high thanks to cost cuts.

Smiths, whose products range from airport x-ray scanners to medical equipment, posted headline operating profit for the six months to the end of January of £207m on sales down one per cent at £1.28bn.

The firm said yesterday it expected further improvement in margins but that sales growth would be difficult to achieve in the short to medium-term. Analysts expect the group to post a full-year profit of £365m.