- Instrumentation and controls company Spectris said its first-half profit more than doubled, after it banked proceeds from an asset sale and experienced solid demand in the automotive and pharmaceutical industries.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June rose to £96.6m, up from £37.6m on-year, and included a profit on the disposal of the EMS B&K business of £57.0m.

Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 6% to £67.4m, as like-for-like sales climbed 5% to £728.0m.

The company declared an interim dividend of 20.5p, up 8% on-year.

'Our performance in the first half of the year reflects good demand in our end markets, particularly in the automotive and pharmaceutical industries where we have made key strategic moves in the past two years,' chief executive John O'Higgins said.

'We are pleased to see 5% organic sales growth although we continue to expect that pace to ease a little in the second half, given the tougher comparator with 2017.'

'Overall, our expectations for the full year remain unchanged.'

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