GKN profit is driven up by auto unit sales

City A.M. Reporter
BRITISH car and plane parts maker GKN said yesterday its first-quarter profit rose by a fifth, driven by strong growth at its automotive business on the back of robust luxury car sales.

The group’s Driveline unit, which makes products such as driveshafts, chassis and axles, reported a 28 per cent rise in profit in the first three months of 2012, GKN said.

The division accounts for around half of group sales and has been boosted by the contribution of Getrag Driveline Products, which it bought last year, and continued growth in luxury car sales.

Audi, BMW and Volkswagen, who are among GKN’s biggest customers, expect demand for high-end vehicles, especially in China, to continue in 2012.

At the group level, GKN said first-quarter trading profit rose 19 per cent to £142m on revenue 17 per cent higher at £1.74bn, helped by the contribution of acquisitions made last year.

“Last year’s acquisitions, Getrag Driveline Products and Stromag, have been successfully integrated and both made a strong contribution,” said GKN chief executive Nigel Stein.

“Despite some macro-economic uncertainty, we expect 2012 to be a year of good progress for GKN.”