Global economic growth and industrial output progressively slowed throughout 2012, characterized again by a sharp divergence in the rates of economic and industrial production growth between developed and emerging markets. As anticipated, market conditions were weak across most of Europe, although the business performed better than might have been expected, as customer maintenance spending appeared to have bottomed early in the year and demand improved modestly in the second half of 2012. The markets in North America were better than Europe, although Spirax Sarco saw softness in the U.S. in the last few months of the year.
“I am pleased to report that the group delivered another year of record sales, profit and cash generation despite slowing global economic growth throughout the year,” says Spirax Sarco CEO Mark Vernon. “The resiliency of our business model and our good exposure to faster growing emerging markets in Asia, enabled the Group to achieve 5% overall organic sales growth and higher profits, a noteworthy accomplishment given the particularly difficult economic environment in Europe. 2013 has started in line with our expectations and we look forward to making further progress for the year.”