FTSE 100 platinum refiner Johnson Matthey reported a six per cent drop in profits in the first half and said that it doesn't expect things to pick up in the latter part of the fiscal year.
The company, which is a world leader in emissions control technologies, said that pre-tax profits declined from £195.1m to £183.4m year-on-year in the six months to September 30th.
This was on revenues that declined by 17% from £5,900bn to £4,892bn, owing mainly to a large fall in sales in the Precious Metals Products division. Group revenue excluding previous metals sales increased by 1% to £1,310m, but missed the consensus forecast of £1,343m.
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"Against a difficult market environment, particularly the impact of lower average precious metal prices, Johnson Matthey delivered growth in operating profit from Environmental Technologies and Fine Chemicals, although this was more than offset by the weaker performance of Precious Metal Products.Underlying earnings per share were maintained at 72.9p," said Chief Executive Neil Carson.
"Whilst precious metal prices have improved from their lows during the summer, largely due to the labour unrest in South Africa, the outlook in some of our other markets has weakened and visibility remains limited.We therefore expect that the group's performance in the second half will be similar to the first half of the year."
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