GKN's share price rises after it posts 12 per cent rise in sales

 
James Nickerson
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The group said its automotive businesses continue to outperform the market

Engineering company GKN posted a rise in sales in the first quarter as it announced its principal markets have performed in line with expectations.

GKN's share price rose over two per cent on the announcement.

The company, which serves the aerospace, automotive and land systems market, said management sales rose to £2.2bn for the three months to the end of March, up from £1.9bn in the same period a year ago.

That rise comprised of one per cent organic growth, eight per cent acquisition growth, while three per cent was due to a beneficial currency translation.

Read more: GKN share price climbs as growing auto demand boosts sales

The group said its automotive businesses continue to outperform the market.

However, the group's trading margin fell.

It was lower than last year due a reduction in GKN aerospace, the company said.

Aerospace was hit by lower military sales, reflecting the decline of mature programmes, notably the F/A-18 Super Hornet and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

Sales at GKN aerospace still rose to £767m in the quarter, up from £589m from a year ago, thanks to the incorporation fo Fokker Technologies.

Fokker is a supplier of aeroplane parts that GKN acquired last year.

Nigel Stein, GKN's chief executive, said: "Our overall performance in the first quarter was in line with our expectations. With end markets delivering as forecast and customers continuing to award us good levels of new and repeat business, we expect to grow in 2016 and beyond, helped by the contribution from Fokker, whose performance and integration is on track."

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