The chemicals company Johnson Matthey said robust truck sales in North America helped drive a 23 percent jump in full-year underlying profit, prompting the world's largest supplier of catalytic converters to pay a special dividend.
The British speciality chemicals company said that underlying profit before tax for the year to the end of March rose to £426m ($659m). That compares to analysts' estimate of just over £411m, according to a consensus provided by the company.
That was on the back of a 20 per cent rise in revenue, again above expectations, to just over £12bn, as catalyst sales outpaced growth in global car and truck production. Excluding precious metals, sales rose 17 per cent to £2.7bn.
The group said it would pay a special dividend to shareholders of 100 pence per share, on top of a full year dividend of 55 pence, up 20 per cent. The one-off payout will amount to a total of £212m.
Johnson Matthey makes and develops catalyst technology to reduce emissions from cars, trucks and power plants but also makes fine chemicals, active pharmaceutical ingredients and refines precious metals.
City A.M. Reporter