The group revealed that profits before tax and exceptional items rose to £199m for the six months to 30 September 2004, up from £185m for the corresponding period last year.
This was despite registering a 2% drop in global revenues to £1.618bn. UK revenues fell £11m to £814m, but cost reductions saw a turnaround from a loss of £9m last year to a £36m profit.
The company also warned that if it had adopted IFRS for this period, it would have been required to deconsolidate an operation classed within its rest of the world division, reducing profit before tax by £9m. It would not, however, have an impact on net profit or earnings per share.
When the company starts to report under IFRS from 30 June 2005, it expects to feel the impact mostly in pensions, share options, financial instruments, deferred tax and intangible assets.
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