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31 May, 2018 - 08:58 By Kate Sweeney

Johnson Matthey bullish with dividend hike

Cambridge science and industrial technology business Johnson Matthey has increased its final dividend by seven per cent as a show of confidence despite seeing pre-tax profits fall 31 per cent on revenue 17 per cent higher for the year to March 31.

Chief executive Robert MacLeod said the dividend hike reflected JM’s confidence in its prospects.

Revenue was hoisted to £14.122 billion but PBT was down to £320m; both headline figures were in line with board expectations.

MacLeod described it as “a good year. We have made significant progress in executing our strategy and delivered a financial performance in line with our expectations at the start of the year.”

Maintaining a bullish tone with the UK stock market, he added: “In the coming year we expect mid to high single digit growth in operating performance.

The changes we are making as we continue to develop our business give me confidence in our strategy to deliver, over the medium term, mid to high single digit EPS CAGR, expanding ROIC to 20 per cent and, as a result, a progressive dividend.“

He added: “We have taken significant steps in running our businesses more effectively, delivering cost savings and becoming more agile and responsive to our customers.

“Our strong balance sheet continues to give us the flexibility to invest in our business, to maintain and extend our science and technology leadership supported by an optimised manufacturing footprint.

“Clean Air had another strong year, delivering strong top and bottom line growth. We improved the quality of our Efficient Natural Resources business and in Health we continued to progress our substantial API pipeline and are better positioned as we optimise our manufacturing footprint.

“The further development of eLNOTM, our next generation battery material, was a highlight of the year and I am excited about the speed of progress we are making and the plans we have to commercialise this product.”

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