Led by chief executive Andrew Hodgson, this Tyne and Wear engineering company designs and builds remotely-operated vehicles. Its machines are used in underwater projects, including deep sea construction and surveying, and in radioactive areas in nuclear power plants that are too hazardous for staff to enter. In 2008, Inflexion bought a 60% stake in a deal reported to be worth £70m. Thanks to a strong presence in emerging economies such as Brazil and China, SMD has seen international sales grow 90% a year from £20.1m in 2009 to £72.4m in 2011.
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