16 November 2004

Annual General Meeting of Smiths Group plc Chairman's statement on the current outlook

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of Smiths Group held at 2.30pm at 60 Victoria Embankment, London EC4, Donald Brydon, Chairman of the company said:

"In September, when we announced the Preliminary Results for the 2004 financial year, we indicated that Smiths business environment appeared more positive than it had been for some years. A generally better outlook across our market sectors, the steps taken to improve efficiency and the benefit from recent acquisitions all enhanced the prospects for profitable growth in 2005.

Now, three months into this year, the company can reaffirm that the momentum is being sustained. As anticipated, demand across all our markets is higher than a year ago; last years acquisitions are performing well and one more has recently been announced;
and, despite the translation effect of the dollars continued decline, sales and profits are ahead of this time last year. In conclusion, we remain confident that Smiths is on track to deliver an improved performance."

ENDS