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.