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CORRECTED-Smiths Group annual profit falls

(Corrects to drop reference of job cuts in headline and clarify job cuts are ongoing in first paragraph)

Sept 24 (Reuters) - Smiths Group reported a 26% fall in annual operating profit on Thursday due to higher costs and a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, while the British engineering firm also said it was cutting jobs as part of its restructuring plan.

The company, whose baggage screening kit and explosive detectors are a common sight in airports, said operating profit from continuing operations for the year ended July 31 fell to 241 million pounds ($305.97 million) from 326 million pounds a year earlier. Group revenue inched 2% higher.

Smiths, which did not specify how many employees it was laying off under the programme announced in June, also proposed an annual dividend of 35 pence per share after delaying its interim payout in March. ($1 = 0.7876 pounds) (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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