- Industrial instruments manufacturer Spectris Group posted a rise in annual profit, buoyed by acquisitions and a recovery in US demand.

Pre-tax profit grew by 12% to £218.4m, as revenue rose 13% to £1.53bn, or by 6% on a like-for-like basis.

The company declared a final dividend of 56.5p, up 9%.

'Our performance in 2017 was good with like-for-like increases in both sales and profit as we executed on our strategy, and helped by a recovery in the US and certain key end markets,' chief executive John O'Higgins said.

'In 2018, we expect to see the benefit of organic sales growth, partly offset by the investment in our strategic growth initiatives and foreign currency exchange headwinds.'

O'Higgins, however, said cost and benefit estimates from its 'project uplift' strategy overhaul had varied, mostly due to an IT upgrade being more complex than the company expected.

'As a result, we now expect Phase 1 to deliver annual savings of £25m at a total cost of £35m over the period to the end of 2019,' he said.

That compared to previous guidance of £35m of savings and £45m of costs.

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