GKN profit rise driven by auto unit growth

British car and plane parts maker GKN has said its first half profit rose a third, driven by solid growth at its automotive business on the back of robust luxury car sales.

GKN, which makes auto components as well as airframes for Airbus and Boeing, this morning said its pre-tax profit rose 33 per cent to £266m in the six months to the end of June, while revenues rose 16 per cent to £3.46bn.

GKN, which earlier this month bought Volvo's aerospace division for $990m, increased the interim dividend by 20 per cent to 2.4 pence and said it was bullish about its prospects for the remainder of the year.

"The macroeconomic environment continues to be uncertain, with increasing headwinds in European auto markets. However, with the benefit of a good first half and the group's broad exposure to global markets ... we expect 2012 to be another good year of progress for GKN," the company said.

GKN was expected to report an average first half pre-tax profit of £259m and is forecast to deliver a full year profit of around £491m, according to Thomson Reuters data.