Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

[Pound]40m Kidde Stands Up to Market's Heat

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

[Pound]40m Kidde Stands Up to Market's Heat

Article excerpt

Byline: FIONA WALSH

FIRE protection group Kidde has turned in what it calls a "robust" first-half performance and chief executive Michael Harper is painting an optimistic picture for the rest of the year despite the global economic downturn.

The group, which makes fire-extinguishing systems for US Air Force fighters as well as domestic extinguishers, rope ladders and smoke alarms, pushed underlying operating profits ahead by 5.3% to [pound]39.9 million. Sales for the six months to 30 June rose by 16.3% to [pound]429.3 million.

At the pre-tax level, profits jumped from [pound]5.8 million to [pound]27.1 million, largely reflecting lower interest payments. These are its first set of results as an independent company since it was demerged from former conglomerate Williams last year, along with stablemate Chubb, the security group.

Harper said the group is "resilient" in the face of mixed market conditions: "I don't want to sound too bullish but our experience at the moment leads us to have confidence in full-year prospects. …

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