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Exports help Halma up to pounds 10m profit

STRONG growth overseas helped Halma, the safety and environmental technology group, to push profits up by almost a quarter to pounds 10m in the half year to 2 October, writes Neil Thapar.

The result, achieved on a 22 per cent advance in turnover to pounds 62m, reflected a one-third jump in direct exports to pounds 18m while sales generated by overseas businesses rose 37 per cent to pounds 33.8m.

While the UK and Continental Europe remained 'relatively depressed', the US and Far East markets were buoyant. Overall, exports accounted for 54 per cent of turnover, up from 48 per cent.

The company also benefited from a pounds 205,000 profit contribution over three months from two acquisitions.

Earnings climbed by 21 per cent to 3.43p and the interim dividend has been improved by a fifth to 0.933p. The shares rose 6p to 220p.