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UPDATE 2-Halma full-year profit rises on strong growth in China
June 12, 2014 / 7:45 AM / in 3 years

UPDATE 2-Halma full-year profit rises on strong growth in China

* Adjusted pretax profit up 9 pct at 140.2 mln stg

* Revenue from China rises 26 percent

* Shares rise 3.7 pct, among top pct gainers on midcap index (adds details, CEO, finance director comments; updates share movement)

By Tasim Zahid

June 12 (Reuters) - British health and safety device maker Halma Plc reported a 9 percent increase in full-year profit, helped by strong growth in China, and said it could spend up to 100 million pounds on acquisitions this year.

Halma, which makes products ranging from water quality test kits to smoke detectors and automatic door sensors, said adjusted pretax profit rose to 140.2 million pounds ($235.4 million) for the 52 weeks ended March 29, from 128.9 million pounds a year earlier.

Shares in the company rose as much as 3.7 percent to 613 pence and were among the top percentage gainers on FTSE-250 midcap index on Thursday morning.

Revenue rose about 9 percent to 676.5 million pounds. Revenue in Asia Pacific was up 11 percent propelled by strong sales in China, where revenue rose 26 percent. China added 47 million pounds to its total revenue.

The company’s largest market, the United States, saw a 10 percent growth in revenue at 214 million pounds.

Halma, which has made three acquisitions since May, said it would continue to look for further acquisitions in the process safety sector.

“We could spend within our facility another 100 million (pounds) comfortably on acquisitions this year,” Chief Executive Andrew Williams told Reuters.

The company, which started out as tea estate firm in Sri Lanka in 1894, raised its banking facilities to 360 million pounds last year.

Earlier this month, it bought California-based Rohrback Cosasco Systems Inc, a maker of pipeline corrosion monitoring products, for $108 million to expand its portfolio of critical safety products.

The Buckinghamshire-based company said a stronger pound would be a challenge in a “varied trading environment”.

A stronger pound has hurt the bottomline of many British industrials such as Renishaw, Morgan Advanced and Bodycote, which have exposure to foreign markets but report earnings in sterling.

“If we re-ran the past year, at the current exchange rates, it would have about a three to three and a half percent adverse impact on the results,” Finance Director Kevin Thompson told Reuters.

Halma raised its final dividend by 7 percent to 6.82 pence per share. ($1 = 0.5956 British Pounds) (Reporting by Tasim Zahid in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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