UK industrial group Meggitt saw operating profit in its electronics division slip by 15% for the year to 31 December.
The result came in spite of the fact that Meggitt's overall turnover was up 13% at £435.1m, while pre-tax profit before exceptionals rose 10% to £72.4m.
Turnover for electronics specifically rose 3% to £107.4m to deliver a £9.5m profit against 2000's £11.2m. The division suffered a drag because of performance at the Meggitt Electronic Components (MEC) passives business, which has now been sold to Tyco but still figures in 11 months of last year's results. Passives sales were hit hard by the general technology slowdown during 2001.
Meggitt registered a "2.7m net profit on the "15.6m sale of MEC, announced in December.
In the year ahead, Meggitt is pinning its hopes on three other electronics product groups. It sees growth being led by sensors, and particularly its Nacesa range of control potentiometers and sensors. The company said its business for this segment was holding up and growing in the consumer electronics, automotive, military and medical markets.
The other two remaining electronics operations are ticketing systems - last year, the company won a contract to supply an integrated electronic bus-and-rail system for Belfast - and measurement systems for petrol stations.
At other divisions, aerospace had an 8% increase in operating profit to £69.4m on a 16% increase in turnover to £327.7m. A £2.6m charge was taken against a dip in civil orders following 11 September, but the military sector has held up well.
Terry Twigger, group chief executive, said: "After taking account of recent civil aviation cancellations, the net order intake for the year was 8% higher than in 2000 and the order book at 31 December 2001 was slightly ahead of that at December 2000."
Twigger expects trading conditions in 2002 to remain "challenging".