Engineering group reports first-half fall

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British engineer Smiths Group reported a five per cent fall in first-half operating profit and said it appointed Rob White as interim chief financial officer effective April 25.

Mr White replaces Peter Turner, who stepped down as financedirector in October.

The company, which makes industrial seals, medical devices and security detectors, said headline operating profit fell to £232m in the six months ended January 31 from £245m a year earlier.

Chief executive, Philip Bowman, said: “We expect to deliver improved underlying performance in the second half.”