Smiths Group warns of the impact from spending cuts

City A.M. Reporter
BRITISH technology firm Smiths Group yesterday reported a slight increase in first-half pre-tax profit as higher sales to the oil and gas industry offset weakness at its detection business, which has been hit by government spending cuts.

Smiths’ detection unit, which makes X-ray scanners used at airports and advanced explosion scanners, has been especially hit by delays in large orders from government agencies looking to cut public spending, and the company warned this would likely continue through the year.

“The economic environment remains uncertain and continued pressures on government spending are likely to affect some of our divisions,” Smiths said yesterday.

However, the company, which also makes medical devices and fuel hoses, said it saw further potential to grow overall sales, and added it was confident of meeting full-year expectations.

For the six months ended 28 January, pre-tax profit rose two per cent to £217m, beating estimates of £181.5m. Sales rose three per cent to £1.42bn, in line with estimates.