THE outgoing chairman of Weir Group says his successor is the "best insurance" for the company retaining its Glasgow headquarters.

Lord Smith of Kelvin was effusive in his praise of fellow Glasgow-born executive Charles Berry, who will take the chairman role at the end of this year.

Lord Robertson, senior independent director at Weir, led a global hunt for the new chairman with the board unanimously seeing Mr Berry as the best choice.

Speaking after Weir's annual general meeting (AGM) Lord Smith, who has been chairman since 2002, said: "This was a huge international search and there is no question Charles is the best guy for the job.

"What really tickled me was he is another Glasgow boy.

"It is helluva important. This was founded in 1871. The guys put roots down here and it spanned all over the world.

"You just want to feel that when I am on my death bed it is still Glasgow headquartered. [Charles] is the best insurance I have got."

Mr Berry previously ran ScottishPower's UK operations and has also held boardroom positions with Thus and Eaga.

Currently he holds a number of non-executive roles including chairman of aerospace and industrial manufacturing group Senior and as board member at the Securities Trust of Scotland.

He said he is well aware of the importance of Weir to Glasgow and Scotland having spent two months at Weir Pumps in Cathcart between leaving school and going to university in 1970 while his late father worked at the company for most of his life.

Mr Berry said: "To join a company in my home town, which has grown across the world, is just as good as it gets.

"When the headhunters phoned me it was an instantaneous yes.

"Lord Smith is a difficult act to follow. The company is positioned very nicely in three sectors and the operation of the board is as good as I have seen."

Weir Group also announced a trading update, showing first quarter revenues down 14% year-on-year but 14% higher than the final quarter of 2012.

It said the start to 2013 had been affected by a lower order book particularly in oil and gas although the impact had been partially offset by recent acquisitions such as US-based drilling equipment supplier Mathena.

The lower revenue meant operating profits were down on the prior year while margins were hit by one-off costs related to restructuring in the pressure pumping segment.

The guidance for the full year was unchanged with a low single digit percentage growth in revenue and broadly stable margins.

Keith Cochrane, chief executive, said: "We are seeing the resilience of the business model and the benefits of diversity of geography and commodity.

"When you step back from the short-term challenges and look at the longer term growth potential then there are no shortage of opportunities across each of our end markets.

"It is about continuing to deliver and continuing to invest in building the capability."

Shareholders at the company's AGM in Glasgow passed all the resolutions presented with the remuneration report getting almost 98% backing and Mr Cochrane re-elected as a director with in excess of 95% of the votes. Shares closed down 48p, or 2.18%, at 2156p.

Separately, Clyde Union Pumps-owner SPX reported first quarter revenue fell 1.7% to $1.13 billion and warned of restructuring charges to its European operations.