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IMI Indoor Climate sees profits rise

IMI Indoor Climate, a subsidiary of Birmingham based engineering giant IMI, saw profits rise by 11.5 per cent to £32.9 million in 2007.

But, IMI’s preliminary results reported organic revenue growth for IMI Indoor Climate had slowed to one per cent for the second half of the year although a strong performance in the first six months had led to an overall rise of seven per cent.

IMI chairman Norman Askew was pleased to see 13 per cent of profits was generated by products released over the last three years: “This is another strong set of results. We have a promising new products pipeline, further cost savings expected from our recent restructuring programme and a robust balance sheet.

“Trading in the first two months of this year has been encouraging, with organic sales up over seven per cent and order intake in all our business divisions comfortably ahead of last year. The order book at the end of February was 13 per cent up on last year.

“Generally our customers in industrialised economies continue to have confidence in their medium term prospects and the strong momentum in emerging markets has been maintained.”

IMI Indoor Climate companies include radiator valve specialist Heimeier, HVAC flow control company Flow Design, TA –a specialist in hydronic balancing for waterborne heating and cooling systems, water management company Pneumatex, and m&e specialist Commtech Group.

High profile projects in 2007 included balanced heating and cooling systems for Heathrow Terminal 5 and the Burj Tower in Dubai.

The results announcement indicated the price of copper and a downturn in the German house building market had hit business.

The report on IMI Indoor Climate said: “Organic growth was seven per cent. Growth did slow in the second half of the year to one per cent after a particularly strong first half.

“The majority of the increased cost of copper, which represents a significant part of the cost of the valves, was passed on in selling prices. The underlying volume growth in the balancing valve business remains firm and was particularly strong in Europe.

“There was, however, a significant downturn in our thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) business in Germany during the second half, following a sharp fall in the number of residential building permits issued earlier in the year.

'Permits have picked up from their low point, however, and our sales of TRVs would now appear to be recovering, albeit not yet up to the same levels as the early part of 2007.

“Sales in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe maintained their strong development of recent years.”

The report said customer training had helped develop demand. It said: “We increased our investment in customer training, with 32,000 industry professionals around the world receiving training in Indoor Climate hydronic balancing technology in 2007, encouraging additional demand for our products and services.”

The purchase of Pneumatex was also highlighted in the report: “It made a strong contribution in its first few months and has already made inroads into new markets previously beyond its reach.”

IMI helped install the balancing system at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport in China (pictured)