GKN profit rise fuelled by automotive arm

City A.M. Reporter
Car and plane parts maker GKN posted a 19 per cent rise in first-quarter profit, driven by a strong performance from its automotive business and acquisitions made last year.

GKN reported a trading profit of £142m in the first three months of the year on revenues 17 per cent higher at £1.74bn.

GKN reported a 28 per cent rise in profits at its autos unit, which makes products such as driveshafts, chassis, axles and lighter auto components.

The division has been boosted by strong growth in luxury car sales and the contribution of Gretag Driveline Products business, which it bought last year.

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

GKN said it aerospace unit, which makes airframes for planemakers Airbus and Boeing, delivered a 13 per cent rise in profit during the period helped by the ramp-up of several civil aerospace programmes, which have offset falling military sales.

Analysts expect GKN will benefit in the long term now deliveries of Boeing's new 787, in which GKN is heavily involved, have started, while production of the Airbus A350 has also kicked off.

GKN said its land systems unit, which makes construction and agricultural equipment, also performed well, helped by last year's purchase of component maker Stromag.