Essentially a conglomerate business with an engineering focus, Smiths had long resisted market pressure to break up the group.
Today the company reported an 80% rise in underlying profit and upped its dividend, while confirming the sale of its medical division to US firm ICU Medical for $2.4 billion.
Pre-tax profit from continuing operations for the year through July rose to £240 million, up from £133 million year-on-year.
Revenue fell 6% to £2.41 billion but company also boosted its operating margin by 140 basis points. Net profit, including from the discontinued medical business, rose 6.7% to £285 million.
Smiths declared a full-year dividend of 37.7p per share, up 8% year-on-year.
The company, which first agreed to the ICU bid for the medical unit on 8 September, said it had exercised a previously announced put option and entered into a binding share purchase agreement for the sale. The proceeds will, in the company’s words, be balanced ‘between investment in growth and a significant return of capital to shareholders’.
Looking forward, Smith said it was well positioned as markets recover, with good order book momentum.
It warned, however, that economic uncertainty and supply chain challenges continue. Revenue growth was expected to return to around pre-Covid levels during the current year, the company said.
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