Smiths Detection - Smiths Group plc


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General enquiries

Smiths Detection
459 Park Avenue,
Bushey, Herts,
WD23 2BW,

T: +44 (0) 1923 658 000
F: +44 (0) 1923 221 361

Where we operate

Our manufacturing centres are concentrated in Germany, France, Malaysia, USA and the UK. We sell to over 200 countries around the world either direct or through third‑party distributors.

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Smiths Detection is a world-leading designer and manufacturer of sensors that detect and identify explosives, weapons, chemical agents, biohazards, nuclear & radioactive material, narcotics and contraband.

Our comprehensive range of detection technologies, including X-ray, trace detection and infra-red spectroscopy helps customers in the global transportation, ports and borders, critical infrastructure, military and emergency responder markets.

Key facts

Employees 2,150

2015 Revenue £467m

2015 Operating profit margin 11.9%

Principal operating regions

Our manufacturing centres are concentrated in Germany, France, Malaysia, USA and the UK. We sell to over 200 countries around the world either direct or through third‑party distributors.

Competitive strengths

  • Market leader with strong global brand
  • Operates in several regulated markets that require product certification
  • Technologies leveraged across a broad range of markets and applications
  • More than a third of sales from aftermarket service and growing

Growth drivers

  • Persistent and evolving terror threats
  • Changing security regulations for air cargo and passengers
  • Equipment replacement cycle – typically 7-10 years
  • Growing opportunities in software‑driven solutions to provide greater functionality, networking and systems integration
  • Growth of security infrastructure in emerging markets


The majority of revenues are influenced by more than 100 governments and their agencies, including homeland security authorities, customs authorities, emergency responders and the military. These include the US Department of Defense, US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the UK Ministry of Defence. All US sales and support activities are controlled under a Special Security Agreement with the US Department of Defense and managed by the operating subsidiary Smiths Detection Inc., to provide independent oversight of the business, its classified contracts and work.

Financial highlights

Revenue performance £m

Revenue by sector £467m

  1. Transportation 52%
  2. Ports and borders 11%
  3. Military and emergency responders 14%
  4. Critical infrastructure 23%


Smiths Detection’s exposure to the homeland security and defence sectors brings it into competition with a wide range of companies in each end-use market. Principal competitors include: Morpho (transportation), Rapiscan (transportation, ports and borders, critical infrastructure), L-3 Security & Detection Systems (transportation), Nuctech (ports and borders, critical infrastructure), Astrophysics (critical infrastructure), AS&E (ports and borders), Leidos (transportation, ports and borders), Chemring (military), Bruker (military, emergency responders), and Thermo Fisher (military and emergency responders).


We are achieving increased synergies across manufacturing sites and aligning purchasing activity to ensure that we fully leverage the size of our business. These developments are ongoing and take into account the requirement for local content from some of our major customers, as well as our stringent quality and delivery standards.

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Smiths Group divisions:

John Crane, Smiths Medical, Smiths Detection, Smiths Interconnect, Flex-Tek

Smiths Group plc:
Registered office 2nd Floor, Cardinal Place, 80 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5JL
Incorporated in England No. 137013
Copyright 2013 Smiths Group plc.
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