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Smiths Group profit flat as margins dip in medical, detection units

(Reuters) - British engineering company Smiths Group Plc's (LSE:SMIN) full-year operating profit rose slightly as the company realised lower margins in its medical equipment and detection units.

The company, which makes mechanical seals, power transmission couplings, medical devices and equipment to detect explosives, said it continues to be cautious about sectors such as defence and healthcare that are subject to government funding constraints.

Operating profit rose marginally to 560 million pounds in the year ended July 31 from 554 million pounds a year earlier. Revenue rose 2 percent to 3.1 billion pounds.

"Headline margins were affected by the increased investment in future growth drivers across the group, contract challenges in Smiths Detection, and the introduction of the US medical device tax in Smiths Medical," Chief Executive Philip Bowman said in a statement.

Revenue rose 2 percent at its John Crane business, which makes mechanical seals, power transmission couplings and filtration systems.

(Reporting by Aashika Jain; Editing by Supriya Kurane)