Strong Second Half Boosts Smiths Group Results

LONDON -- Smiths Group (ISE: SMIN.L) -- the global technology company that specializes in the practical application of advanced technologies in the threat and contraband detection, medical devices, energy, communications, and engineered components markets -- is currently up 1.25% on the release of its annual results for the year ending July 31, 2012.

There are 7% increases across the board in headline figures. Revenue has broken through the 3-billion-pound barrier, at 3,038 million pounds, operating profit is up to 554 million pounds, pre-tax profit rose to 497 million pounds, and basic earnings-per-share increased to 92.6 pence. The full-year dividend rose 5% to 38 pence, giving a current yield of just under 3.6%.

Commenting on the results, Philip Bowman, chief executive, said:

Smiths Group has performed well in a persistently tough economic environment, growing revenue across all divisions with a stronger performance in the second half. Headline margins were maintained while we significantly increased our investment in sales, marketing and new product development. We achieved strong cash conversion, and return on capital was also ahead of last year.

The economic environment remains uncertain. Pressures on government spending are expected to continue, particularly given the risk of budget sequestration in the U.S. and widespread concerns over national debt levels in parts of Europe. These conditions are likely to continue to constrain those parts of our business with government-funded customers.

Subject to economic conditions, I am confident we can continue to grow sales, deliver further operational improvements, achieve strong cash conversion and improve returns.

Despite the strong results, Smiths' share price is barely changed from a decade ago, albeit with considerable changes, both up and down, in between.

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Jon Wallis doesn't own shares in Smiths Group. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
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