Airport security clampdown boosts Smith

THE maker of bomb detection systems used at UK airports yesterday said it had made strong progress after full-year profits rose 10 per cent.

Smiths Group, which employs more than 20,000 people, said the haul of 380 million reflected good performances from its detection arm, oil and gas specialist John Crane and its division providing communications to the military.

In the detection business, sales in the year to 31 July were up 12 per cent to 509m after the introduction of new airport explosive detection systems.

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Unlike conventional X-ray systems, the equipment captures multiple views of carry-on bags in a single sweep. Profits for the division were up by 2 per cent to 86m as a result of currency fluctuations and the timing of new contracts.

The results come nine months after Philip Bowman, who previously led Scottish Power, started as chief executive. He said a review of operations had identified "significant opportunities" to improve performance.

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