Halifax-based engineering, materials handling and building products group FKI this week reported a 13.5% rise in profits, largely due to contributions from recent acquisition Bridon, the UK wire and cable supplier.
FKI said sales on continuing operations grew 16.6% in the six months to 30 September, with pre-tax profits for the whole group up to £72.6m.
Total sales of £610.6m were down 2.5%, partly reflecting the sale of FKI’s automotive group in December 1997, which contributed £91.3m to last year’s figures, and partly due to Bridon’s acquisition in August 1997.
Chief executive Bob Beeston warned that accurate forecasting of prospects is being hampered by the economic uncertainty that is spreading through world markets. ‘This is sure to have an impact on the markets in which we operate,’ he said.
Sterling’s strength and translation effects accounted for a £1.6m hit on pre-tax profits, and took £14.4m off turnover.
FKI’s engineering division saw turnover fall by nearly £25m to £175m in the half-year, but operating profits held up. Orders are up overall, but the underlying level of activity has been lower in the UK and Italian domestic markets, Beeston said.