25 September 2002

Preliminary Results for the 12 months ending 31 July 2002

Highlights:

  • Operating profit of 452m from continuing activities
  • Profit margin of 15% on sales of 3.1 billion
  • Operating cash after capex of 473m, free cash-flow of 315m
  • Debt reduced by 395m to 725m, helped by cash-flow and disposals
  • Earnings per share on continuing activities of 52.3p
  • Civil aerospace slowdown balanced by strong defence business
  • Substantial increase in demand for detection equipment
  • Medical division increasing its focus on product innovation
  • Increased final dividend of 16.75p, making an annual total of 25.5p

Commenting on the results, Keith Butler-Wheelhouse, Chief Executive said:

These results prove our resilience in tough times. We are limiting the impact of the global slowdown by cutting costs and concentrating on margins and cash-flow. We are not counting on near-term market improvements, particularly in the US where we generate half of our revenues. But we are focusing the company on our growth opportunities, which will enable Smiths to deliver a robust performance in the period ahead.

ENDS