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Gloucestershire Business News

Growth ahead for major engineering firm

A world-wide engineering firm which employs hundreds of staff in Gloucestershire has predicted world-wide growth, despite battling currency headwinds.

In a positive if careful statement Spirax Sarco talks of continual expansion in many of its major overseas markets after a steady start to the year.

The Cheltenham-headquartered plc, which employs more than 1,100 staff in the county, is a world-leader in the control and efficient use of steam, electrical thermal energy solutions and peristaltic pumping and associated fluid path technologies.

"The global macro-economic environment for the group remains positive with global industrial production (IP) growth for 2018 forecast to be very similar to that achieved in 2017," said the statement, which covers the period ending April 30.

"We have seen improved growth in the Americas, while growth has been lower in Asia Pacific and EMEA, albeit both segments had a very strong start to the year in 2017. Watson-Marlow continues to see growth in EMEA, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

"The integration of the two acquisitions made in 2017, Gestra which was acquired in May and Chromalox which joined the Group in July, is progressing to schedule and the businesses continue to perform in line with their respective acquisition plans."

Sales growth for the group in the first four months of the year has been very similar to the first four months of 2017.

"If April's foreign exchange rates were to continue for the rest of the year we would expect to see a reduction in sales and profits due to currency movements of three per cent and five per cent respectively.

"Movements in exchange rates are often volatile and unpredictable, therefore the actual impact could be significantly different."

On an organic, constant currency basis, Group operating profit is ahead of the comparable four-month period in 2017 and we continue to prioritise investments for growth over further margin expansion.

Pictured top: Nicholas Anderson, chief executive of Spirax Sarco.

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