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Hope for Tomkins in new markets

Improving “green” technology sales and building up business in emerging HVAC markets have helped engineering company Tomkins respond to the downturn in the US economy.

According to the London based firm’s preliminary results for 2007 overall operating profits fell by 11 per cent to £264.7million from £295.8m and operating margins dropped by 0.4 per cent to
nine per cent while its turnover fell from £3.1billion to £2.9b.

The results showed its air conditioning, heating and ventilation division Air Systems Components had been hit hard by the US housing market with sales falling by nine per cent from £583.9m to £541.6m.

But, company bosses say they have responded by developing opportunities in India while its energy efficient products have seen 49 per cent growth over the last three years to more than £50m worth of sales.

The report said: “Air Systems Components had strong performance in the commercial construction market, taking market share with its focus on developing products for energy efficient or “green” buildings and focusing on growing segments such as public buildings and offices.

“The residential segment of Air Systems Components was impacted by lower volumes in the US residential housing market, but the business was able to minimise the impact of this downturn by controlling costs and driving operational efficiencies.

“2007 saw good progress in expanding the Air Systems Components offering outside of the US into the rapidly growing Indian HVAC market.
'The business formed a joint venture with Caryaire, a manufacturer and distributor of HVAC products, and in January 2008 acquired a controlling stake in Rolastar, a duct profile manufacturer, both in India.”

Jim Nicol, pictured, said: 'We are accelerating our performance improvement initiatives and they will help us to significantly improve our cost base over a three-year period. In addition, the Group is focused on driving growth through expansion in emerging markets and through product development. Overall Tomkins is committed to managing its businesses vigorously to improve performance.'

Chairman David Newlands said: “Tomkins’ performance in 2007 reflected the result of management actions to mitigate economic weakness across a number of the company’s markets, to enhance the portfolio of the Group and to drive for growth through developing both attractive new products and our presence in emerging markets.”