UK's Johnson Matthey has good start to 2011/12 fiscal year

19 July 2011 10:58  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Johnson Matthey expects to produce strong second-quarter and first-half 2011/12 financial results following a good first quarter, the UK-based precious metals trader and catalysts maker said on Tuesday.

First-half 2011/12 performance is expected to be “significantly ahead of the same period in 2010/11”, it added.

Underlying profits before tax in the fiscal first quarter, which began on 1 April 2011, were up 19% at £98.2m ($158.4m, €111.6m) on higher demand and “operational leverage”. Sales excluding precious metal sales were 12% higher at £617m, the company added in a management statement published ahead of its annual general meeting.

Net debt on 30 June 2011 had been reduced by £125.6m to £513.8m from the 2010/11 year end.

Johnson Matthey said it made less money on its light duty vehicle catalysts in the latest quarter than in the same period the year before but offset that with a strong improvement from heavy duty diesel catalysts.

The light duty vehicle catalyst business was hit by temporary supply chain disruptions caused by the Japan earthquake and tsunami, and higher rare earth prices.

Heavy duty diesel catalyst sales in North America were up 64% and the business produced higher profits.

The Davy Process technology business had an "excellent start to the new year", and helped lift process technology division sales in the quarter by 5% to £80m.

The company's fine chemicals sales were up 15% in the quarter at £70m. Precious metal products sales were up 6% at £150m.

“Demand for the group’s products and services remains robust,” Johnson Matthey said. “We currently anticipate that our good start to 2011/12 will be maintained throughout the year."

($1 = £0.62, $1 = €0.71, €1 = £0.88)

For more on Johnson Matthey see ICIS Company Intelligence

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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