March 20 (Reuters) - British engineering company Smiths Group Plc reported a 3 percent rise in first-half profit as demand in the oil and gas market drove sales at its John Crane business, which accounts for a third of Smiths' revenue.
Smiths, whose products range from explosive detectors to surgical needles, said pretax profit rose to 223 million pounds ($337 million) in the six months ended Jan. 31 from 217 million pounds a year earlier.
Underlying headline revenue rose 6 percent to 1.48 billion pounds.
Turnover from John Crane, maker of seals, couplings and bearings for customers such as BP Plc, Total SA and Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, grew 4 percent.
Smiths shares closed at 1318 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday.