- Instrumentation and controls company Spectris posted a 22% fall in annual profit owing to one-off restructuring and acquisition costs, though its underlying performance improved.

Pre-tax profit for the year through December declined to £218.0m, even as sales rose 5% to £1.60bn.

Undelrying pre-tax profit rose 3% to £241.4m, when the one-off costs were stripped out.

The company declared an annual dividend of 61.0p per share, up 8% on-year.

Spectris said a new profit improvement programme was anticipated to deliver annualised benefits of more than £30m, of which £15-20m was expected to be realised during 2019.

However, it also warned of weaker sales growth in 2019.

'I am pleased that our performance in 2018 was slightly ahead of expectations, reflecting the quality of our businesses,' chief executive Andrew Heath said.

'We expect sales growth to moderate in 2019, given the more cautious macroeconomic outlook.'

'Consequently, we are focusing on what we can control; increasing productivity and operational efficiency, while driving sales.'

'Since I joined the group last autumn, we have taken decisive action to improve Spectris' performance.'

'This will continue through 2019 as we complete the strategic review and execute our strategy for profitable growth, as the basis for delivering a significant and sustainable increase in shareholder value.'

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