THE FULL IMPACT of the upturn in civil and military aerospace markets will take another year to feed through to the bottom line, forecasts Smiths Industries, as it turns in another steady set of annual results.

The aerospace business saw sales edge up a little, to ú377 million ($590 million) for the financial year to the end of September, marking the first rise since the onset of recession. Profit margins also edged up a point, to 12%, but the group expects "one more year of steady progress" before the upturn shows in earnest.

The traditionally conservative Smiths production forecasts estimate that civil-jet-airliner production will reach 436 units this year before climbing back to the 800 mark by 1999. By then, Boeing's annual production of its new-generation 737s, in which Smiths provides the flight-management system, should hit a peak of 170 units. It expects military-aircraft output to remain at around 850 a year.

Source: Flight International