Johnson Matthey Q1 Underlying Profit Rises; Sees Strong Growth In H1
Autocatalysts and precious metals maker Johnson Matthey reported Tuesday a strong growth in its first-quarter profit and sales, benefited principally from higher demand for products and operational leverage. Looking ahead, the company projects significant growth in the first half.
In its interim management statement for the first quarter, Johnson Matthey noted that its underlying profit before tax increased 19% from last year to 98.2 million pounds. Sales for the quarter, excluding sales of precious metals, grew 12% to 617 million pounds.
Segment-wise, environmental technologies generated a 14% rise in sales to 414 million pounds, with a similar improvement in operating profit. Emission Control Technologies' sales climbed 17%. Light duty vehicle catalyst sales were up by 3%, partly affected by the temporary disruption to supply chains caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. However, sales of heavy duty diesel catalysts, particularly in North America, surged 64%.
In the Precious Metal Products division, sales grew 6% to 150 million pounds, benefited from strong industrial demand and higher average precious metal prices.
The company's Fine Chemicals division also posted a 15% rise in sales, mainly as API manufacturing businesses performed well with a particularly strong performance in North America driven by improved market share.
Looking ahead, Chairman Sir John Banham stated that demand for the group's products and services remains robust.
For the second quarter, Johnson Matthey said its outlook is good, and as a result its first-half performance is expected to be significantly ahead of the same period last year.
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