Halma Group / Halma p.l.c.

Halma has grown to be an established FTSE 250 business and currently comprises nearly 50 subsidiary companies operating worldwide. Today, Halma`s technology centres on sensors, its markets are primarily the protection of human and capital assets, and the Group continues to grow through organic expansion and acquisition.

Company details

Misbourne Court - Rectory Way , Amersham , Bucks HP7 0DE United Kingdom

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Business Type:
Technology
Industry Type:
Health and Safety
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

Halma's origins began in Asia in 1894. As The Nahalma Tea Estate Company Limited, it operated in Ceylon (renamed Sri Lanka in 1972). The company later switched to rubber production and in 1937 became the Nahalma Rubber Estate Company Limited.

During the 1950s the Sri-Lankan government nationalized many of the island's businesses, including the rubber industry. In 1956 the Nahalma Rubber Estate Company Limited became Halma Investments Limited. The company ended its connections with rubber and its role changed to an investment management and industrial holding company.

Halma was listed on the London Stock Exchange in January 1972 and became a publicly-traded company. A series of acquisitions was made of mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering companies and successful management generated strong organic growth. This created the basis for the international manufacturing group that Halma is today. The company changed its name to Halma Limited in 1973 and registered as a public limited company in 1981, becoming Halma plc.

Halma has grown to be an established FTSE 250 business and currently comprises nearly 50 subsidiary companies operating worldwide. Today, Halma's technology centres on sensors, its markets are primarily the protection of human and capital assets, and the Group continues to grow through organic expansion and acquisition.

Our values help to ensure a consistent set of standards and behaviours throughout the Group. This is particularly important given the Group's decentralised structure.

Our core values are:

  • Achievement
  • Innovation
  • Empowerment
  • Customer Satisfaction

Our employees are required to act fairly in their dealings with fellow employees, customers, suppliers and business partners; these principles are included within our Code of Conduct which has been signed by each Group employee.

Our technology is used to save lives, prevent injuries, and protect people and assets. We also develop products that secure and protect the elements critical to healthy lives. We have four sectors:

Process Safety
Specialised interlocks that control critical processes safely. Instruments that detect flammable and hazardous gases. Explosion protection and pressure relief systems, and corrosion monitoring products.

Infrastructure Safety
Fire detection systems, smoke detectors, specialist fire suppression systems, people and vehicle flow solutions, security sensors and elevator safety products.

Medical
Devices that assess eye health, assist with eye surgery and primary care applications. Critical fluidic components used by medical diagnostic OEMs and laboratories. Sensor technologies used in hospitals to track assets and support patient and staff safety.

Environmental & Analysis
Market-leading opto-electronic technology and sensors. Flow measurement instruments and gas conditioning products. Products for environmental data recording, water quality testing and water distribution network monitoring, and UV water treatment.

Our strategic model is to double every five years. We aim to achieve this through a mix of acquisitions and organic growth. We ensure that cash generation is strong enough to sustain investment for growth and increase dividends without the need for high levels of external funding.

InputsFinancial

Our operations are inherently cash generative and the Group has access to competitively priced finance, which provides good liquidity and support for the growth ambitions of Halma.

Product Innovation

Investing in new product development and making complementary acquisitions enable Halma to develop the range and quality of its products.

Human Capital

Developing talent and diversity across our businesses gives us a competitive advantage and ensures that we have motivated leaders to deliver our goals in an innovative and collaborative way.

Intellectual Assets

Empowering our businesses to invest in new products and work collaboratively with each other to share knowledge and experience creates a culture where innovation can flourish.

Relationships

Interacting with our customers, suppliers and other strategic partners is key to developing market-leading positions in each of our businesses.

Sustainability

Halma is committed to promoting sustainable business practices and works to improve the Group’s environmental performance.

How we increase value

We have a portfolio of market-leading companies within our four sectors: Process Safety, Infrastructure Safety, Medical, and Environmental & Analysis.

We place our operational resources close to our customers through autonomous locally managed businesses. We have central resources to increase innovation, international expansion and leadership talent. Each business builds strong application knowledge and technology by focusing on its specific market niche where there are often barriers to entry. We re-invest cash into acquiring high performance businesses in, or close to, our existing markets.

Competitive Strengths

We target markets where growth is supported by long-term demographic drivers:

  • Increasing health and safety
  • Increasing demand for healthcare
  • Increasing need for life-critical resources such as energy and water

We choose niches within those markets which offer sustainable growth and high Return on Sales and Return on Capital.

Buildings

We make products which detect hazards to protect assets and people in public and commercial buildings. We make fire and smoke detectors, fire detection and suppression systems, automatic door sensors, elevator safety products and a range of security products. They are primarily used in non-residential buildings such as schools, hospitals, retail stores, offices, airports and hotels.

Utilities

We make instruments for environmental data recording, water quality testing and water distribution network monitoring. Water treatment companies use our analysis systems to monitor and control water and wastewater treatment plants. Our corrosion monitoring systems reduce waste, extended asset life and prevent leaks. We supply large-scale UV disinfection plants to municipal waterworks.

Healthcare/Medical

We make products used to improve personal and public health. We make many types of instruments used by optometrists and eye surgeons to examine eyes, test vision and diagnose eye disease. We also make diagnostic instruments and devices for general medical applications. These are used by general practitioners, in hospitals, clinics and even the home. We make sensor technologies used in hospitals to track assets and support patient and staff safety.

Science/Environment

We make market leading opto-electronic technology for scientific, medical and environmental applications. We make critical components such as pumps, probes, valves, connectors and gas conditioning products used by scientific, environmental and medical diagnostic OEMs for demanding applications.

Process Industries

We make safety products including specialised mechanical, electrical and electromechanical locks which ensure that critical processes operate safely. Our bursting discs release excess pressure from process vessels and pipework. Our corrosion monitoring systems reduce waste, extended asset life and prevent leaks and system failure. Our water treatment systems based on ultraviolet light technology disinfect water supplies. Manufacturers worldwide use our water analysis systems to monitor and control water and wastewater. Our mass flow meters monitor gas and fluid flow and our scientific instruments are widely used for research and development and quality control.

Energy/Resources

Our safety products are also used in the energy and resources sectors. Our portable instruments and fixed systems detect flammable and hazardous gases. Our gas conditioning products are used in energy applications such as coal-fired power and refineries.

Halma has a highly decentralised structure which delivers real competitive advantage. We place our operational resources close to our customers through locally-managed, autonomous businesses.

Operating companies

Operating companies have their own board of directors and are given considerable freedom for entrepreneurial action. Research and development, manufacturing, sales and marketing, and human resources are all managed at operating company level.

Our subsidiary boards are empowered to make timely decisions in the best interests of their business. With an intimate knowledge of their market dynamics and customer needs they are best placed to make local resource allocation decisions swiftly in response to market changes.

Sectors

Halma's subsidiary companies are grouped into four operating Sectors: Process Safety, Infrastructure Safety, Medical and Environmental & Analysis. Each sector is an autonomous business unit responsible for its own growth organically and by acquisition.

Sectors are managed by Sector Chief Executives and Sector Vice Presidents who are Chairmen of the subsidiaries. Their primary role is to provide insight, inspiration and leadership for the local management boards. Sector Chief Executives understand the market needs of their companies and contribute broadly to their strategies. They set objectives and targets, measure performance and incentivise their managements.

Sector Chief Executives are also responsible for acquiring new businesses and the recruitment of high calibre managers to run our companies. Sector Chief Executives are members of the Halma Executive Board and through regular interaction between Executive Board members, common challenges and opportunities are identified.

Head office

A small head office team focuses on corporate strategy and maintains an overall framework of financial planning, reporting and control. Head office also provides a limited range of central financial services, including treasury, pensions, insurances and share plans, and leads Group strategic initiatives such as driving improvements in sales processes, innovation and people development.

Our values help to ensure a consistent set of standards and behaviours throughout the Group. This is particularly important given the Group's decentralised structure.

Our core values are:

  • Achievement
  • Innovation
  • Empowerment
  • Customer Satisfaction

Our culture is one of openness, integrity and accountability. We encourage our employees to act fairly in their dealings with fellow employees, customers, suppliers and business partners; these principles are included within our Code of Conduct which has been signed by each Group employee.

10 key benefits of being part of Halma:

  • Invest and develop for the long term
  • International sales channels and development
  • Centrally supported Asian business network
  • R&D, IP protection and capital investment
  • Legal, treasury, finance, pension, insurance, taxation expertise
  • New technology and collaboration
  • Manufacturing efficiency expertise
  • IT, Public Relations and HR assistance
  • Training and staff development, career opportunities
  • Networking with other Halma companies operating in similar markets

Entrepreneurs usually sell to us to release capital. They often want to continue to be involved in the business, safeguard its future and see it grow. They typically also want to preserve the culture of the organisation they created and protect their employees’ future and earned benefits.

Our decentralized structure allows acquired businesses to operate autonomously. Businesses normally retain their name, brands, senior managers, staff and location... supported by Halma's greater resources. Private companies often find development beyond a certain size difficult without the finance and management support of a larger parent group.

Owners frequently stay with their business for several years after acquisition by Halma. Some have even progressed to become Sector Chief Executives and Halma directors. Many find that their working life remains largely unchanged post-acquisition and feel at home within Halma's decentralized and entrepreneurial operating culture.

Earn outs

Fast growing businesses can be difficult to value. Vendors can get a fair price for their business through a combination of initial consideration plus deferred payment plans. The total we pay for the business then partly depends on its financial performance for the two or three years after acquisition. Halma actively supports the attainment of earn-out payments by vendors and we have a good record of helping vendors to achieve maximum earn-outs.