StockMarketWire.com - Smiths Group saw a fall in headline operating profits of 23% in its annual results for the year ending 31 July 2020, compared to the same 12 month period a year earlier.

Headline operating profit fell by £100 million from £427 million for the full year ending 2019 to £327 million in 2020.

The company said it was hit by lower trading volumes in the second half of its financial year and additional business continuity costs to maintain uninterrupted customer service during the initial months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The strength and flexibility we have built into the business, and the benefits of the group’s strategic positioning, underpinned a robust performance in challenging market conditions,” said Andy Reynolds Smith, group chief executive of the company.

“Our priorities remain the safety of our people and keeping the business running flawlessly to support customers. I’m incredibly grateful to our amazing people for their dedication in difficult times, which ensured we delivered in the year and continue to maximise opportunities for future growth.”

Mr Reynolds Smith said the company’s performance justified a proposed dividend of 35p which reflected the delayed interim dividend of 11 pence per share and proposed final dividend of 24 pence per share.

“We remain prudent as we continue to navigate the ongoing uncertainty,” he added. “We have continued to enhance the group's strategic positioning, through execution of the restructuring programme, completion of three further bolt-on acquisitions and our unchanged commitment to separate Smiths Medical.”

Smiths defines a “headline” measure of performance as a calculation not affected by material non-recurring items or items considered non-operational/trading in nature. This measure is a non-GAAP measure of profit. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com