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Intertek growth continues

Expansion in China and a strong performance in the US has seen profits grow by more than 20 per cent at Intertek with the safety testing specialist still expecting further growth despite uncertainty in the global economy.

In the first six months of the year the group saw revenue grow by 26.8 per cent to £457.4million, compared to the same period last year, and operating profit up 22.2 per cent to £64.3million.

The commercial and electrical division provides services to a wide range of industries including heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. This division saw revenue up by 23.3 per cent to £95.8mill, but operating profit up only 13.9 per cent to £12.3mill while operating margins fell from 13.9 per cent to 12.8 per cent.

The interim report said work in the US electrical sector grew well in the first half of 2008. the report added: “Revenue in Asia increased in the first half of 2008 compared to the first half of 2007, mainly due to good growth in China. Total revenue in Europe increased, although organic revenue growth was slower in the first half of 2008 compared to the first half of 2007.

“The total adjusted operating margin decreased to 12.8 per cent. The decline in margin is partly due to slower growth in Europe, but also to investment in new technology to support key industry sectors such as photovoltaic (solar) and geographic expansion of automotive testing services in China and Japan.”

The report concluded: “the outlook for Commercial and Electrical for the rest of the year is good. Over 50 per cent of the division’s revenue is generated in the Americas where, despite the weak economy in the US, growth prospects are good. Investment in new industry sectors provides good opportunities for growth and we expect to see an improvement in margin in the second half of the year.'

The group is not ruling out further expansion: 'We continue to see many further acquisition opportunities which will widen the scope and range of services we offer.'