In an interim management statement for the nine months to 1 May 2010, Smiths Group said that the John Crane order book had strengthened with a further improvement in the book-to-bill ratio in the third quarter.
 
Smiths Group believes that this supports a return to underlying sales growth in the second half of the financial year for John Crane although this is unlikely to offset the first half year declines.
 
Smiths Group is expecting margin expansion for John Crane reflecting the sealing company’s continued focus on cost control initiatives.