Intertek states 15% profit rise after toy recalls

Intertek Group Plc posted full-year profit rose 15 percent after acquisitions and recalls by Asian toy manufacturers’ bolstered sales.

Intertek is an international provider of quality and safety services to a wide range of global and local industries.

The company's services take it into a wide range of fields including textiles, toys, electronics, building, heating, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, food and cargo scanning. Intertek provides testing, inspection and certification of products, commodities and systems and a range of other services. As at 31 December 2006, the company has a global network of around 930 laboratories and offices, with 18,000 people operating in 109 countries around the world.

Net income increased to 73.2 million pounds ($148 million), or 46.2 pence a share, from 63.8 million pounds, or 40.6 pence, a year earlier, the London-based company said today in a statement. Revenue gained 17 percent to 775 million pounds.

Demand for Intertek's testing and inspection services are being driven by increasing quality, environmental and safety regulations. The company spent $200 million on 16 purchases in 2007 and has made five more this year to tap demand for testing services from oil and mining companies. A rise in exports from Asia, along with a number of high profile toy recalls in the region, promoted demand for consumer product testing last year.

"We expect 2008 to be another good year for Intertek,'' Chief Executive Officer Wolfhart Hauser said in today's statement. "We continue to see many opportunities to acquire businesses in our chosen industry sectors.''

Intertek, which tests products for Siemens AG, Europe's biggest engineering company, has fallen 8.9 percent in London trading this year, giving it a market value of 1.41 billion pounds.

The dollar's drop against the pound clipped earnings growth as about 80 percent of Intertek's business is conducted in the U.S. currency.

The company on Jan. 1 reorganized its reporting structure into seven divisions from four. The new units include Consumer Goods; Commercial & Electrical; Analytical Services; Minerals; Oil, Chemical & Agri Cargo; Industrial Services; and Government Services.