Engineering group Tomkins reported an expected 1.4 per cent rise in annual profits after income from new acquisitions and price increases offset a weak North American automotive market and higher material costs.
Tomkins, which sells parts used in car engines and air conditioners, predicted further growth this year as it expands in China and India and introduces new products, but said some markets would remain tough this year.
"The outlook is uninspiring, which is no surprise given the markets served," Investec analyst John Nuttall said.
Tomkins, which began life as a Walsall buckle maker and which once owned legendary US gunmaker Smith & Wesson and British baking group RHM, said profit from operations before restructuring for the year to December 31 was £308.5 million compared with £304.3 million a year earlier.
This compared with analysts' consensus forecast of £305 million.
Tomkins' sales have been hurt by slowing production at Ford and General Motors which are struggling with the loss of US market share to foreign rivals.
Tomkins makes 65 per cent of its sales in the United States.
However, this was offset by a strong US residential construction market, new products, and price increases made to offset the higher cost in raw materials.
Chief executive James Nicol said the company planned to continue expanding in high-growth markets like China and India. He said Tomkins would like to see new acquisitions adding £172 million to £290 million a year to group sales.