DNA firm's blueprint for growth

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Amersham International, which makes and supplies reagents to laboratories for DNA research, turned in a better second-half performance on the back of improved margins and expansion in Japan and the US.

Turnover for the health science group rose 3 per cent to pounds 333.6m for the year ending March, compared with pounds 324.2m in the same period last year.

Bill Castell, the group chief executive, said he was particularly pleased with the improved performance of the group's three main divisions - Life Science, Healthcare and Industrial Quality and Safety Assurance - in the second half of the year.

He said the main profit driver was the maintained focus on margin improvement and the decision to move away from the flat European market.

The mix of results disappointed the market, where shares were off 10p at 895p after an earlier low of 860p.