Britain's Most Admired by sector: Engineering and Machinery

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1 Rotork 62.5
2 Weir Group 61.7
3 Smiths Group 59.5
=4 IMI 58.1
=4 Spirax Sarco 58.1

Slick performances put rival pump, valve and actuator specialists Rotork and Weir Group first and second in sector again this year, as strong margins on maintenance work offset falling demand in the key oil and gas markets. Smiths boss Philip Bowman acknowledged a 'desperately tough year' as profits fell 21% for the year to July - but his cost-cutting and cash management have kept the worst at bay. Stable demand and good margins on niche products like drinks dispensers helped IMI beat its first-half profit forecast of £70m by £10m. Steam-power specialist Spirax Sarco raised its dividend for the 41st year in a row, despite a 28% fall in profits and uncertain demand.

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