Smiths confident as margin focus delivers

 
City A.M. Reporter
UK TECHNOLOGY firm Smiths Group said cost cuts and a focus on margins should help it deliver a good performance in the first half, as delays on government orders crimped sales for airport security devices.

Technology group Smiths, whose products range from bomb detectors to medical devices and fuel hoses, said it had seen underlying sales growth in the three months to 30 October, supported by improvements at its Medical division.

Sales at Smiths Detection, which makes X-ray scanners used at airports and advanced explosion scanners, lagged those of a year ago due to a delay in large orders from government agencies, as lawmakers debate changes to military spending.

“Sales in the period are behind last year as some large orders from various government agencies have been delayed,” the company said in a statement yesterday.

Governments are scrambling to tighten aviation security after bombs were found in air cargo bound for the United States two weeks ago and Smiths said it was well-placed to support such changes, but expected further delays to orders as reforms are finalised.