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2 February, 2017 - 12:25 By Tony Quested

Johnson Matthey sales soar 25 per cent

johnson Matthew, Cambridge

Cambridge UK sustainable technologies business Johnson Matthey has posted a major sales surge for Q3 and is set to outperform its own full-year targets.

It also expects to benefit handsomely from favourable exchange rates if business continues to tick along in the same vein for the final quarter of the 2016-17 trading year.

The group is enjoying a good spell of trading under chief executive Robert MacLeod.

Q3 group sales were up 19 per cent to £876 million at actual rates, two per cent at constant rates, for the quarter ended December 31. The company said it saw good demand across many of its markets.

Revenue was 25 per cent ahead to £3.127 billion. Precious metal sales were 29 per cent ahead, process technologies 24 per cent higher and emission control technologies 20 per cent up.

JM’s light duty vehicle catalyst business grew well with sales six per cent ahead to £348m. Sales in the chemical businesses were strongly ahead supported by expected catalyst orders to syngas customers and good demand for catalysts from the petrochemicals sector.

Sales in JM’s oil & gas businesses were stable, supported by good demand for catalysts from refinery customers. JM’s guidance for the full year remains unchanged for its continuing businesses on a constant currency basis and it expect the group's performance to be slightly ahead of last year.

The group will benefit from favourable exchange rates. If exchange rates remain at December 31, 2016 levels for the remainder of 2016/17, the positive translational impact to underlying operating profit would be approximately £65 million for the year as a whole.

The company added: “Johnson Matthey remains well positioned to benefit from demand globally for cleaner air, the trend towards increased use of generic drugs and a recovery in the petrochemical industry.

“Our strong market positions and differentiated technologies, supported by ongoing R & D investment and a strong balance sheet, will continue to drive attractive shareholder returns over the medium term.”

Kiss Communications

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