SMS poised for push overseas after profit surge

Gas meter supplier Smart Metering Systems (SMS) is eyeing international expansion with the help of Scottish Enterprise after reporting a 37 per cent leap in half-year profits.

The Glasgow-based firm, which counts gas suppliers such as Dong Energy and Eon among its customers, also said trials to extend its metering technology into the UK’s water and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) markets were at an advanced stage.

Underlying pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of June grew to £5.5 million, from £4m a year earlier, on revenues 42 per cent higher at £13.2m.

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SMS’s total meter portfolio swelled to 401,000, up by 18 per cent since the start of the year, while it has installed more than 7,000 of its ADM automated meter reading systems.

The group said: “With the benefit of funding from Scottish Enterprise, SMS has started trials for the ADM device in South Africa and Asia, with pre-marketing ongoing in the US.”

A spokesman was unable to put a figure on the level of support, describing it as ongoing “part-funding” to help towards its push into overseas markets.

Following the jump in profits, the interim dividend – to be paid on 22 November – was lifted by 40 per cent to 0.7p a share.

Chief executive Alan Foy said: “We have continued to increase the number of customers we serve and have shown again a significant increase in our meter portfolio, providing ongoing recurring revenue. A number of customers have recently increased the number of meters required, which underlines the quality of service SMS provides and bodes well for the future.”