WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

                       Report of Foreign Private Issuer

                       Pursuant to Rule 13a-16 or 15d-16
                       of the Securities Exchange Act of

                               December 18, 2002

                       Commission File Number 001-14978

                              SMITH & NEPHEW plc
                              (Registrant's name)

                                15 Adam Street
                           London, England WC2N 6LA
             (Address of registrant's principal executive offices)

     [Indicate by check mark whether the registrant files or will file annual
reports under cover Form 20-F or Form 40-F.]

          Form 20-F   X                 Form 40-F
                    -----                         -----

[Indicate by check mark if the registrant is submitting the Form 6-K in paper
as permitted by Regulation S-T Rule 101(b)(1).]

          Yes                           No    X
              -----                         ------

[Indicate by check mark if the registrant is submitting the Form 6-K in paper
as permitted by Regulation S-T Rule 101(b)(7).]

          Yes                           No    X
              -----                         ------

     [Indicate by check mark whether by furnishing the information contained
in this Form, the registrant is also thereby furnishing information to the
Commission pursuant to Rule 12g3-2 (b) under the Securities Exchange Act of

          Yes                           No    X
              -----                         ------

     If "Yes" is marked, indicate below the file number assigned to the
registrant in connection with Rule 12g3-2(b):82- n/a.

                                                                Total Pages: 4


Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the
registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the
undersigned thereunto duly authorized.

                                                  Smith & Nephew plc

Date: December 18, 2002                            By: /s/ Paul Chambers
                                                       Paul Chambers
                                                       Company Secretary


17 December 2002

         Medical Devices Company Continues to Sustain Business Growth

Smith & Nephew plc, the advanced medical devices group, has continued to
deliver strong business performance in the second half of the year, with the
underlying rate of sales growth in the ongoing businesses expected to be 14%
for the full year - the same as last year. Acquisitions added a further 4% to
this growth, but currency will be 3% adverse.

Smith & Nephew is to give a trading update to investors and analysts today
ahead of the close period preceding its Preliminary Results announcement. The
company, whose business is focused on the fast-growing markets for
orthopaedics, endoscopy and advanced wound management products, will report
its preliminary results on 7 February 2003 at 2pm GMT (8am CST). Please note
that this is a change from the previously published date in order to present
simultaneously to analysts and investors in London and New Orleans during the
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting.

Smith & Nephew has continued to perform strongly in all of its businesses
throughout 2002. Orthopaedics led the way once again, with underlying sales
expected to grow by 19% for the full year, and extremely strong knee growth at
33% over last year. Endoscopy's underlying sales growth will be 10% for the
full year, with the acquisition of Oratec this year adding 9% to this. Wound
Management will once again deliver underlying sales growth of 11%, with last
year's acquisition of the Beiersdorf and Acticoat ranges adding 4% to this for
the full year.


Chris O'Donnell, Chief Executive of Smith & Nephew said, "Our innovative
products and the investments we have made in our sales forces are delivering
sustained growth above that of the markets in which we operate. We are pleased
with the progress made by Smith & Nephew this year, and we are focused on
delivering continued sales growth and expanding our group operating margins
moving forward."

The briefing today will be by conference call at 3pm UK time, and can be heard
by live audio webcast via the Smith & Nephew website A
recording of the briefing will be available on the Smith & Nephew website
after the call.


Chris O'Donnell, Chief Executive                 Tel: +44 (0) 20 7401 7646
Smith & Nephew plc

Peter Hooley, Finance Director                   Tel: +44 (0) 20 7401 7646
Smith & Nephew plc

Angie Craig, Corporate Affairs Director          Tel: +44 (0) 20 7401 7646
Smith & Nephew plc

David Yates                                      Tel: +44 (0) 20 7831 3113
Financial Dynamics