Airport demand boosts Smiths

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The engineering group Smiths said its detection business achieved a 43 per cent rise in profits after strong demand from airports, ports and border agencies.

With many airports reviewing their security arrangements following the attempted terror attack on a US aircraft last December, Smiths said it had seen increased orders for explosive trace equipment from long-term customers, such as the US Transportation Security Administration.

Many governments and airports are also considering installing body-imaging systems and Smiths said its eqo system was being used in a number of trials.

Smiths reported pre-tax profits of £435m for the year to 31 July, up 17 per cent on a year ago after restructuring efforts. Sales were 4 per cent higher at £2.77bn.