News in brief

Banking on euro

Siemens has opened the UK’s first corporate euro-denominated bank account. The German engineering firm hopes that its move will help convince suppliers of the benefits of using euros.

Transtec up

Transtec, the engineering company founded by paymaster general Geoffrey Robinson, this week reported pre-tax profits of £16.7m for 1997, up from £14m the year before, on sales turnover of £349.5m.

Transfer for TT

TT Group is to seek reclassification on the stock market from a diversified industrial to engineering. TT this week reported a 17% rise in pre-tax profits for 1997 to £62.5m on turnover of £632m.

Rocket update

Matra BAe Dynamics and US Lockheed Martin last week proposed a short-range weapon called Kestrel as a replacement for the British Army’s LAW-80 anti-tank rocket. The consortium said Kestrel would be able to attack the top as well as the sides of an armoured vehicle.

Tomkins buys

Tomkins has acquired tyre valves and fluid control components firm Schrader-Bridgeport of the US for £112m. The business will be integrated into its windscreen wiper and transmission belt subsidiary Gates and Stant.


BAeSema has won a $5.98m (£3.6m) combined contract from Egypt and the US defence department for its Versatile Exercise Mine System. Some 83% of this contract relates to equipment supplied by the US to Egypt and the rest to equipment to be supplied to the US navy.

Phone switch

Former civil servant David Edmonds is to replace Don Cruickshank as director general of Oftel next month.