Johnson Matthey: 1H profit up, coatings business disposal

Specialty chemicals company Johnson Matthey PLC said on 27 November 2003 that 1H 2003 pretax profit before items increased 4.1%, thanks to growth in the Catalysts and Chemicals division mainly in Asia…

Specialty chemicals company Johnson Matthey PLC said on 27 November 2003 that 1H 2003 pretax profit before items increased 4.1%, thanks to growth in the Catalysts and Chemicals division mainly in Asia. The company said profit before tax and goodwill amortization totaled GBP 97.5 million for the six months to 30 September 2003, compared with a restated GBP 93.7 million in the year-earlier period. For its 2003 fiscal year, the company said it has adopted the new, stricter FRS17 accounting standard for pensions, and it has restated its 2003 results accordingly, to give a like for like comparison. Under the previous accounting rules, pretax profit before goodwill amortization and exceptional items for the 1H of 2002 was GBP 95 million. Johnson Matthey also said it plans to sell its Structural Ceramics and Specialty Coatings businesses, which make colors and glazes, in order to focus more on core activities. Group Finance Director Sheldrick said the units are “in good shape,” but that the company plans to focus on its other divisions.