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Going Down: Invensys

INVENSYS, maker of factory controls and equipment, said it returned to profit in the first half as it slashed costs and sold businesses after its creation from the merger of Siebe and BTR. It earned pounds 300m compared with a loss of pounds 171m a year earlier.

The company said it would reach its goal for cost savings of pounds 300m a year by 2002, nine months ahead of schedule. It also plans to spend "at least a couple billion pounds" on acquisitions to compete better with rivals such as ABB and Siemens.

Invensys's transformation is being handled in a "very robust way", said Harry Philips, an analyst at WestLB Panmure.

The shares fell 15 per cent last week, but have risen 27 per cent this year.