Industrial automation company Eurotherm International Plc saw pre-tax profits fall by 5% to just over UKP6m in the first half of this year on turnover up 18% to UKP80m. Company chairman J Leonard said that margins had been maintained on turnover, so that operating profits grew during the interim period – he blamed interest rates for the company’s declining profits. Also culpable on the waning profitability front, were trading conditions in the UK and US. As Leonard points out these problems are unlikely to be alleviated over the next six months. However, as Eurotherm operates globally Leonard is optimistic about the future: in this context he mentioned the UKP3m smelter project for India as well as a number of smaller orders for installations in Eastern Europe. The company is also heading up market where the margins are fat.