European car slowdown weighs on GKN

City A.M. Reporter
Engineering firm GKN this morning reported broadly flat pre-tax profit in the third quarter, as it said challenging European markets were weighing on its business.

GKN, which makes parts for cars and planes, reported pre-tax profit for the third quarter of £99m, down from £100m in the third quarter of last year. Revenue increased to £1,608 over the quarter, up from £1,483 year on year.

The automobile division accounts for around half of group sales, and was boosted by the performance Getrag Driveline Products, which it bought last year.

The company said its aerospace unit, which makes airframes for Airbus and Boeing, delivered a 7.6 per cent rise in profit during the period, helped by the ramp-up of several civil aerospace programmes, which have offset falling military sales.

It added that macroeconomic conditions have “deteriorated” in recent weeks, and as a result its order book has weakened, particularly in the European car and industrial markets.

Chief executive Nigel Stein said today: “Looking forward, European markets seem to be softening further. We continue to focus on driving performance, keeping close control of our cost base."