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Restructuring improves margins and operating performance at SPX

CLYDEUNION Pumps owner SPX has reported a near halving of underlying profits along with a 1.9% slowing of first quarter revenue.

The industrial component provider said it brought in $1.07 billion in the first three months of 2014, down from $1.09bn in the same period of last year.

Operating profit came in at $15.1m, against $30m, but SPX also realised a one-off gain of $491.2m on the sale of its interest in EGS Electrical Group. The Charlotte, North Carolina, business also booked a charge of more than $32m related to the early repayment of some of its debt.

Revenue in the flow control division was up 0.6% from $613m to $616.7m.

There was also an improvement in margins which was attributed to cost reductions through restructuring in the prior year and an increase in oil and gas sector aftermarket sales.

SPX made around 160 people redundant from ClydeUnion last year.

The thermal equipment and services arm saw revenue dip 8.4% from $305.1m to $279.6m as a result of an anticipated reduction in large power projects in South Africa.

In industrial projects and other services there was a 0.4% rise in revenue from $172.4m to $173.1m which was put down to currency fluctuations.

Severe winter weather delayed the shipment of four large power transformers which will see around $10m of revenue roll forward into the second quarter.

Chris Kearney, SPX chief executive, said: "Building off our strong finish to 2013, we had a positive start to this year with solid year-over-year margin expansion in the first quarter driving better than expected earnings.

"We were particularly pleased with the continued margin expansion in our flow segment. The changes and restructuring actions executed last year have led to better operating performance and a reduced global cost structure."

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