| LONDON, March 3
LONDON, March 3 Product-testing company Intertek
forecast stronger revenue growth and profitability in
2014 after weak commodities markets prompted it to shrink its
minerals business last year.
The British company, which tests anything from oil to
children's toys to check they comply with regulatory standards,
said it expected no growth this year at the minerals division.
"The minerals business worsened over the whole year. We
don't expect a growth rate (in minerals), but we don't expect a
further decline," Chief Executive Wolfhart Hauser told Reuters.
"We have taken costs out, made redundancies, closed labs and
that means that the margins in that business, even if it stays
flat this year, will be better than 2013," he said.
Adjusted operating profit in the minerals division, which
accounts for 5 percent of the business, fell 9 percent to 70
million pounds ($117.31 million) last year.
However, strong growth in toys, textiles and chemicals and
pharmaceuticals in emerging markets like China and India helped
the company post a 2.1 percent rise in pre-tax profit to 314.9
million pounds, a touch above an average analyst estimate of 312
million, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
Hauser said he saw growth in 2014 driven by demand for
testing shale oil and increased production of goods in North
America, as well as textile and toy testing in China and India.
Shares in Intertek rose 2.3 percent to 3,011 pence by 0905
GMT, making it one of the biggest gainers on the FTSE 100
"Management highlight that as markets stabilise and the
impact of restructuring and cost reductions come through, 2014
should be a year of progressively improving growth and
profitability," said Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Caroline de La