30 January 2001

Smiths Group rated 'single A minus' by S & P

Following completion of its recent merger with TI Group, Smiths Group plc (formerly Smiths Industries) announced today that its single A minus rating has been affirmed by Standard & Poors, the credit ratings agency.

During the merger process, the agency had placed the company and its unsecured debt on its CreditWatch list, a normal practice in these circumstances. Stating that the outlook for Smiths Group was now stable, Standard & Poors cited the companys strong niche market positions, sustainable free cash-flow generation and conservative financial profile among the reasons for affirming the single A minus status. The rating assumes the automotive unit will not be retained.

Alan Thomson, Smiths Financial Director commented: The S & P rating is a valuable confirmation that the enlarged company has an attractive risk profile. With operating margins in the high teens and cash conversion at 80% of profits, we continue to generate the financial resources to keep the company on a secure growth path.


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