Maker of auto-catalysts sees 2.2% drop in profits


Johnson Matthey, which makes a third of all auto-catalysts, reported a 2.2 per cent drop in first-half profits as platinum prices slid. It forecast “similar” results in the second six months of its fiscal year.

Net income was £145.7 million in the six months to September 30th, compared with £149 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement. The shares slumped the most in more than a year.

Any recovery in platinum prices, spurred by labour unrest in South Africa, may be countered by falling demand for cars in Europe. Auto production in Europe fell 10 per cent in the six months and may decline further, says the company.

“The European car market is not getting any stronger,” finance director Robert Macleod said in a phone interview.

Sales declined 17 per cent to £4.89 billion. – Bloomberg