Medical devices company Smiths aims for future with profit injection

Medical devices and engineering group Smiths revealed a 25 per cent jump in annual profits to £319.3million as it detailed a three year plan to boost sales and margins in its five divisions.

Smiths (down 3p at 1,016p) makes a range of products from drug delivery equipment to X-ray scanners for airports.

The group is increasing spending on research and development by 8 per cent to £86million on its detection systems and cargo screening to help meet its sales and margins targets. xray

Profit injection: Airport scanner producer Smiths outlined a three year plan to boost profits

Philip Bowman, Smiths's chief executive, would not give guidance on current trading. However, he did point out that there were 'significant advantages in having a portfolio of businesses' in the current economic climate.

The group set aside another £53.7million in its John Crane engineering business to cover potential costs from asbestos-related legal claims in the US. It made provisions of £100.7million last year.

The final dividend was 23.5p, with the total for the year unchanged at 34p.

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