UPDATE 1-Diploma posts higher profit as wiring sales accelerate

Mon May 12, 2014 3:49am EDT

(Adds details, share price)

May 12 (Reuters) - Diploma Plc, which makes industrial wiring systems and components, said first-half pretax profit rose about 2 percent, led by strong sales to the aerospace and motorsport sectors in the recovering UK and German markets.

Diploma, a supplier of components to Formula 1 cars, said pretax profit rose to 24.2 million pounds ($40.75 million) in the six months ended March 31 from 23.8 million pounds a year earlier.

The company reported higher revenues across all three of its business divisions. Revenue at its controls division, which supplies the aerospace, defence and motorsport industries, rose 11 percent on an underlying business.

Revenue at Diploma's life sciences business rose 10 percent on an underlying basis, while sales at its seals unit were up 5 percent.

First-half revenue at Diploma, which derives about three quarters of its revenue from outside the UK, rose 6 percent to 148.6 million pounds, even as a strong pound continued to weigh on its results.

British industrial companies with exposure to non-UK markets, such as Smiths Group Plc, Melrose Industries Plc, Specters Plc and Fenner Plc, have struggled as the strong pound cuts into profits.

The pound rose about 9 percent against the U.S. dollar in the year to Friday's close.

As well as wiring and harness components used by aerospace, defense and motorsport customers, Diploma also makes devices for use in pathology labs and operating rooms.

The company's shares were down marginally in early trading on Monday after closing at 690 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Friday. ($1 = 0.5938 British Pounds) (Reporting by Tasim Zahid and Esha Vaish in Bangalore; Editing by Robin Paxton)

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