Invensys looking to change sectors

Invensys, formerly BTR and Siebe, has announced plans to seek a relisting on the stock market. Speaking after unveiling better than expected half-year results last week, chief executive Allen Yurko said 80% of the group was now focused on electronics and IT, not the group’s original engineering business. `We are pleased with the re-rating that […]

Invensys, formerly BTR and Siebe, has announced plans to seek a relisting on the stock market.

Speaking after unveiling better than expected half-year results last week, chief executive Allen Yurko said 80% of the group was now focused on electronics and IT, not the group’s original engineering business.

`We are pleased with the re-rating that we have seen since the BTR/Siebe merger earlier this year. We will look for a sector change into electronics as soon as the restructuring is completed next year and also plan to seek a US listing as well,’ he added.

The restructuring, which will see 5,000 jobs disappear by the year-end, is on course to provide £300m in annual cost savings by 2002, Yurko said.

The group’s disposal programme is well under way, and has generated £800m of proceeds so far. The remaining sales should be completed by March 2000.

The core automation and controls businesses managed a 6.4% rise in half-year profits to £516m, but after adjustments for the acquisitions and currency translation the increase was a more modest 2.6%.

The figures were dragged down by a 10.7% decline in profits in the industrial drives division, blamed on the economic crisis in Asia and lower capital spending in other world markets.

The hardest hit businesses were in the UK – Brook Crompton and Invensys Air Systems (formerly Comp-Air), but Yurko insisted that, contrary to reports, Air Systems was not for sale.

The controls division managed a 9.9% increase in profits to £2m, and margins rose from 18.5% to 19.1%.

The group’s star performer, however, was the power systems division which has boomed on the back of growth in the IT and telecoms sector. Profits jumped 29.8% to £74m with increasing demand for uninterruptible power supply products.