Smiths Group looks to build ‘digital forges’ to pioneer new tech

“The law says every European airport must have computerised tomography (CT) scanners in place by 2022, and before that legislation the number was in low-single digits,” the chief executive said, pointing to one opportunity for the business.

He added that Smiths was using artificial intelligence to make its port scanners intelligent, so rather than sampling containers on a random basis, their journeys are tracked and those that could be at risk are singled out for inspection.

However, despite the upbeat tone from management, investors were less confident, with the shares slipping more than 6pc.

Analysts at Jefferies called update “satisfactory”, while Morgan Stanley said it saw little in the results to change the view that Smiths was failing to ride the improving trend in the sector.

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