About 40 per cent of Smiths' sales are aerospace equipment; medical systems and industrial equipment account for about one third each. Weakness in the medical systems business stemmed from declines in Japan and price competition in the US. The strength of the pound hurt both the medical and industrial businesses in the UK as companies reduced orders to cut inventories and costs.
SHARES of Smiths Industries fell 15 per cent, on disappointment that first-half profit growth came only from its aerospace business. This grew by 42 per cent, but the other two businesses, which produce ventilation and other industrial equipment and hospital supplies, saw little growth.