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Weir in upbeat mood as profits surge

Pump and valves maker Weir said its five-year plan to double profits remained on track after a year in which it stormed into the FTSE 100 Index.

The Glasgow-based group, which has benefited from soaring demand in the oil, gas and mining sectors, posted a 58% jump in full-year profits to £295M and said it was confident of further growth in the current year.

With a record order book and a number of mining “mega-projects” expected to get under way in South America and Australia, Weir said it was well placed to achieve its ambition of doubling 2009 profits by 2014.

The strong outlook, as well as recent upgrades to profit forecasts, has led to a 250% surge in Weir’s shares over the last two years - a performance that caused it to burst into the FTSE 100 Index in September.

The company, which employs 9,000 staff and works for customers including BP, BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defence, said two of its three markets recovered by more than expected during 2010.

In the case of minerals, China’s growing demand for commodities has resulted in increased production volumes. In contrast, the power and industrial sector remained subdued, Weir added.

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