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03 Aug 07. The weakness of the dollar has cost GKN £90m in sales and £10m in profits at the halfway stage. However, the revival of a powdered metals business and good performances by the aerospace and off-highway divisions allowed the group to increase profits modestly after currency movements and other non-operational factors were stripped out. On this basis, turnover rose 3 per cent to £2.05bn and profits grew 6 per cent to £125m in the six months to June 30. This compared with unadjusted sales 2 per cent higher at £1.93bn producing profits before tax 17 per cent lower at £101m, which reflected non-cash accounting adjustments to the value of derivatives contracts. Sir Kevin Smith, chief executive, said the outlook was good for GKN, which has enjoyed a re-rating following a restructuring. He said: “We have outperformed the market and that has been the result of the hard work we undertook in 2004 to position the group better in higher-growth economies. Order books in all parts of the business are strong.” GKN’s main business is automotive components. Here it has been shielded from the worst impacts of global overcapacity by its proprietary technology in such areas as constant velocity joints. It has meanwhile increased its exposure to emerging markets. While car production fell 4.8 per cent in North America in the first half, it expanded 19.8 per cent in China and 16.5 per cent in India. Sir Kevin said he expected Airbus to make a decision on its Filton site near Bristol “in the next couple of months”. GKN is bidding to take over part of the site and build a £100m composites plant there. An interim dividend of 4.3p (4.1p) is payable from earnings per share of 14.2p
In other news, Senior is bolstered by high-flying commercial sector. The strength of the commercial aerospace industry helped the engineering group that supplies parts to Boeing, Airbus and Sikorsky, to an 87 per cent rise in interim pre-tax profits at £16.3m, writes David Blackwell. Profits would have been another £1m higher but for the weakness of the dollar. Total sales in the six months to June rose from £195.6m to £237.8m, helped by the first full six-month contribution from Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies, acquired late last year for $110m. (Source: FT.com)

31 Jul 07. BAE Systems: Acquisition of Armor Holdings Inc. BAE Systems announced (31 Jul 07) that its acquisition of Armor Holdings had been completed, for approximately $4,532m. Armor Holdings is to be integrated into BAE Systems Land and Armaments which has its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
Comment: Armor Holdings had sales of approximately $2,361m in 2006 (compared with BAE Systems’ sales of approximately $25,400m). The acquisition will increase the amount of BAE’s sales originating in the US from 36% to about 42% (and they will probably exceed those originating in the UK). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0731, 06 Aug 07)

07 Aug 07. Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O: Quote, Profile , Research) reported a stronger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit on Tuesday, as more companies invested in advanced communications equipment to handle growing Internet traffic. Cisco, which makes routers, switches and other network equipment, said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose to $1.9bn, or 31 cents per share, from
$1.5bn, or 25 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Earnings, excluding items, rose to 36 cents from 30 cents a year earlier and beat the average analyst estimate by a penny, according to Reuters Estimates. Revenue rose 18.1 percent to $9.4bn. Analysts on average expected revenue of $9.275bn. (Source: WSJ)

03 Aug 07. Dell Inc., moving to bolster its software and services offerings as its rivals also build up their software businesses, said it would acquire software maker ASAP Software Inc. for $340 million, the largest acquisition in its history. ASAP, Buffalo Grove, Ill., makes software that helps companies manage licensing and comp

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