Emission control technologies drive strong performance for Johnson Matthey

Chemicals and precious metals company Johnson Matthey has posted strong results for the six months ended 30 September. Profit before tax rose by 12 per cent, from £180.1m in the same period last year to £202.1m.

The company warned, however, that the expiration of its long standing arrangements with Anglo American Platinum Limited on 31 December will impact profitability in the fourth quarter.

Sales of emission control technologies rose by 13 per cent, fuelled by strong demand in Europe for heavy duty diesel vehicle catalysts. Sales of process technologies saw growth of 15 per cent, which the company attributed to strong catalyst demand and the contribution from Formox, which was acquired in March 2013.

Sales of precious metal products were broadly in line with last year, while fine chemicals saw sales growth of 5 per cent, as well as a solid performance in its API manufacturing business.

Commenting on the results, chief executive, Neil Carson said:

Johnson Matthey delivered a strong performance in the first half of 2013/14 driven primarily by good growth in Emission Control Technologies, where global car and truck production increased, and good demand for Process Technologies' products. Precious Metal Products, which had a poor first half last year, recovered and overall volumes in its Services businesses increased. Underlying earnings per share were up 18% at 84.9p.

The group's results in the first half of the year exceeded our expectations.