LONDON (Sept. 30)—Smiths Group P.L.C. aims to lift margins at its Polymer Sealing Solutions business by shifting production to lower-cost countries and outsourcing component manufacture. During the fiscal year ended July 31, the seals unit—which combines Busak+Shamban, Dowty Auto, Forsheda and Shamban—was hit by a depressed European capital equipment market. The decline caused a particularly sharp drop in sales to the hydraulic plant and machinery sector, Smiths said. Overall, Sealing Solutions—which includes the John Crane mechanical seals activities—reported a 4-percent drop in operating profit to $155.7 million on sales of $1.38 billion, 8 percent lower than in 2001.