GKN suffers in Japan but profit still up

THE Japanese earthquake and tsunami has cost car parts maker GKN £3m so far this year, but it still managed to hit its forecast.

It said the disruption to its three Japanese factories had taken its toll on operating profit in the first quarter but that trading and profit was still strong.

Pre-tax profit rose 51 per cent to £107m while the business as a whole saw its sales in the three months to March increasing by 14 per cent to £1.5bn.

“GKN made good progress in the first-quarter and I expect this to continue,” said chief executive Sir Kevin Smith.

But GKN said on Japan: “It will be some time before the industry is in a position to catch up on production lost through the first-half.”

The Japanese earthquake forced carmaking giants including Nissan, Toyota and Honda to suspend work at most of their factories in the country. GKN also has a research and development centre in Japan.