Car sale falls hurt Matthey

City A.M. Reporter
JOHNSON MATTHEY beat expectations with a one per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profit yesterday, but warned sales will fall in the coming months as the global car industry continues to struggle.<br /><br />The world&rsquo;s biggest distributor of platinum, which is used to make jewellery, car catalysts and as an ingredient for drugs posted an adjusted pre-tax profit of &pound;267.9m for the year to the end March, up from &pound;265.4m a year earlier. <br /><br />The UK chemicals firm said it sees demand for catalysts well down in the first half of 2009/10, pushing down sales and operating profit.<br /><br />The firm said platinum demand for car catalysts fell eight per cent to 3.81 million ounces last year.<br /><br />&ldquo;So far we have seen no real signs of improvement in demand for automotive products in 2009/10 and we expect the group&rsquo;s sales will be down in our first half in comparison to a very strong performance in the same period last year,&rdquo; chief executive Neil Carson said.<br /><br />He added that prospects after next year &ldquo;remain encouraging&rdquo; due to concerns about the environment and new emissions legislation.