Shares: Down

SIEBE shares fell nearly 13 per cent after the company highlighted a slowdown in Asian business and reported lower-than-expected pre-tax profit. The company that makes control systems for everything from refrigerators to power stations saw pre-tax profit rise 14.6 per cent to pounds 486.4m last year, helped by acquisitions. "Pre-tax profit) is about pounds 10m lower than what we were going for - although overall it's a pretty strong performance," said Michael Blogg, an analyst at Charterhouse Tilney Securities. Other analysts cut their forecasts for 1999 on the prospect of slower sales growth. In April, Siebe agreed to buy electronic equipment maker Eurotherm for pounds 439m, the latest in a string of acquisitions.

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