- Thermal energy management and pumping specialist Spirax-Sarco Engineering said its organic sales growth in the first four months of the year had remained similar to levels in the second half of 2018.

Operating profit, on an organic basis, for the four months through April was higher on-year, with operating margins consistent with our full-year expectations, the company said.

The consistent growth came despite a softening macro-economic environment, it added.

Growth in Asia Pacific was particularly strong, aided by large one-off projects and customer requests to pull forward sales ahead of the recent changes to value added tax in China.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the company said it had seen a modest benefit from customers stockpiling for Brexit.

The Americas saw similar levels of growth to the prior year.

Sales growth at Chromalox, while positive, was lower than the Steam Specialties business, albeit against a robust period of growth in the prior year

Watson-Marlow had an 'excellent start' to the year helped by healthy growth in its biopharmaceutical sector.

'We have good diversification across market sectors and geographic regions, and remain focused on the rigorous implementation of our strategies for growth,' Spirax-Sarco Engineering said.

'While, as normal, our short order book provides only limited visibility, the group's fundamental strengths stand us in good stead to continue to deliver growth that outperforms our markets.'

'While organic sales growth in the first four months of the year has been strong, the lowering of forecasts for industrial production growth rates for 2019 mean that our overall expectations of organic growth and trading margins for the full-year are unchanged to those set out in our preliminary announcement in March.'

'If current exchange rates were to prevail for the remainder of the year there would be no material impact of translation or transaction on sales and operating profit for the full year, compared with the full year 2018.'

'Movements in exchange rates are often volatile and unpredictable, therefore the actual impact could be significantly different.'

'Provided there is no material deterioration in trading conditions the Board has confidence that the group will make further progress in 2019.'

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