Johnson Matthey profits rise

FTSE 100-listed chemicals firm Johnson Matthey yesterday posted an eight per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £106m in the first quarter, driven by strong sales of vehicle catalysts in the European market. Sales in the company’s precious metals division rose three per cent, despite lower average precious metals prices. Demand for the group’s products in the second quarter is expected to be slightly lower, but guidance for the full year remains unchanged, it said in a statement.