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Your tribute to SMC (AJ 28.09.06) with the diagram captioned 'the rocketing turnover of the SMC Group sums up the firm's relentless financial progress' misses most of the point. Rising turnover doesn't necessarily mean financial success.

Obviously turnover will rise as SMC buys up firms, as will the profit total. But the City will not be fooled in the long term as such figures are irrelevant to a firm's success - and longevity - unless the profit percentage of turnover is at a high enough level to keep SMC going, taking into account the initial capital outlay, and the earn-out capital, yet to be found, to those former partners and directors of the firms joining the group.

Congratulations to SMC for its initiative, courage and speedy progress, but it would be interesting, and instructive, if you could monitor the situation in comprehensive follow-up articles.

David Rock, Harleston, Norfolk

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