Spectris operating profit grows 12 pct on acquisitions

Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:44am EST

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Feb 20 (Reuters) - British engineering company Spectris Plc said full-year operating profit rose 12 percent as sales in its industrial controls business almost doubled, helped by acquisitions it made in 2011.

Spectris, which makes testing and precision measuring equipment for the mining, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and transportation industries, said operating profit rose to 196.5 million pounds ($303.5 million) in 2012 from 175.8 million pounds last year.

Sales grew 11 percent to 1.23 billion pounds. Acquisitions contributed 10 percent to sales growth.

Sales at the company's industrial controls business, which makes sensors and controllers used to measure and regulate temperature, humidity, and pressure, grew to 217.2 million pounds from 112.9 million a year earlier.

Spectris' acquisitions of Omega Engineering and Sixnet towards the end of 2011 boosted the industrial controls business.

About a third of Spectris' sales came from Asia, including China, Japan and South Korea, which gave it a degree of protection from the tumultuous European manufacturing sector. Revenue from Europe fell 1 percent.

A struggling European economy has hurt engineering toolmakers. Spectris' rivals IMI Plc and Rotork Plc warned last year of tougher times ahead.

Spectris shares, which gained about 42 percent over the past year, closed at 2425 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

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