Shares in medical systems group Huntleigh Technology - parent of Wednesbury bed maker Huntleigh Nesbit Evans - were hit yesterday by the prospect of static full year figures.
The group told shareholders at its annual meeting that due to mixed trading, it expected 2005 profits to be broadly equivalent to the record performance notched up in 2004.
Chairman Julian Schild said: "Huntleigh's overseas sales have shown good growth, with the United States business in particular continuing to expand."
However, he warned that the picture was not so rosy in the UK, where sales continued to be hit by previously reported pressure on NHS expenditure.
He stated: "The traditional end of financial year expenditure in March was subdued with many acute NHS trusts cutting back on discretionary capital purchases in order to reduce budget deficits.
"As a result, the group's UK sales are likely to be lower in the first half of 2005 than they were in the strong first half of
"As a result of the shortfall in the UK in the first half of 2005, we expect the profits for the year to be broadly equivalent to 2004 ' s record performance.
"The unpredictable timing of tender awards by the NHS in our sector reinforces the board's strategy to reduce Huntleigh's dependence on the UK market.
"We continue to implement the strategic review announced a year ago and are actively pursuing a number of small potential acquisition opportunities.
"We continue to believe that Huntleigh is well placed to take advantage of favourable healthcare trends and to deliver the medium term targets outlined last year."