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December 4, 1991

SIEBE PROFITS, BOLSTERED BY FOXBORO ACQUISITION, FALL 12%

By CBR Staff Writer

Siebe Plc, the Windsor, Berkshire-based specialist engineering company, which a year ago acquired Foxboro, Massachusetts-based process controls manufacturer Foxboro Co for a sizable UKP342m, has turned in pre-tax profits down 12% at UKP75m for the half-year to September 30 on turnover that climbed 19% to UKP813m. Excluding Foxboro’s contribution – of UKP3.8m pre-tax profits on sales of UKP170m – Siebe’s profits were down 16% on revenues that dropped 1%. Trading profits, though, are reported up 7% at UKP109m, with margins said to have been protected by cost reductions. Sales outside the UK generated UKP738m, 91%, of group revenues, international profits making up 88% of the total. Controls, Siebe’s largest activity, accounted for UKP544m of turnover, rising from UKP400 for the same period last year before Foxboro came on board – the activity’s pre-tax profits, however, were fractionally down at just under UKP50m. Compressed Air added UKP108m to revenues, down from UKP126m; Specialist Mechanical Engineering UKP93m, up from UKP89m; Safety & Life Support UKP66m, down from UKP67m; and Property Development UKP3m, up from UKP2m. Net debt at the period-end, excluding finance leases, was 88% as a percentage of shareholders’ funds, down from 103% at the end of the first half 1990. Operating cash flow was UKP44m, boosted from UKP10m for the same six months last year, but down from UKP69m at the 1990 year-end. Research and development as a percentage of turnover was 4.1%, compared with 3.6% for the comparable period last year. Foxboro’s international business has shown an encouraging improvement, with an increase in profits from the non-US operations, particularly in Europe following a restructuring programme implemented by Siebe last year. Foxboro is a strategic part of the company now, declares chairman Barrie Stephens, and it will be the beneficiary of significant investment. The US sales and service operations of the Massachusetts company are currently being reorganised.

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