Profits down 13 per cent at Johnson Matthey

Johnson Matthey, Royston

Johnson Matthey, Royston - Credit: Daniel WQilspm

ROYSTON’S biggest employer says it remains “well positioned” in the market place despite a 13 per cent drop in profit in the last financial year.

Johnson Matthey PLC saw its pre-tax profits fall from £409.3million in 2011/12 to £354.9million in 2012/13.

The precious metals’ firm, which employs 1,700 people at its headquarters in Orchard Road, Royston, also saw revenue drop 11 per cent, from £12.02million to £10.72million.

Neil Carson, Johnson Matthey’s Chief Executive, said: “Johnson Matthey had a challenging year, but nevertheless we remain very well positioned to grow our business over the medium and long term.

“After two very strong years, continued growth in the Environmental Technologies Division is 2012/13 was more than offset by poor performance in the Precious Metals Division.”

Previous years have seen Johnson Matthey enjoy steady growth despite the global economic recession.

In its annual report to shareholders, the firm said the Precious Metals division had a “difficult year”, due to lower average precious metal prices, reduced volumes and issues at its refinery in Salt Lake City, Canada.

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Mr Carson is expecting another tough 12 months ahead, with a re-negotiated – but less lucrative - contract with Anglo American Platinum due to be reduced from January.

He said: “2013/14 will be a year of transition as on January 1 2014 new legislation comes into force for heavy duty diesel vehicles in Europe, and on the same date our new arrangements with Anglo Platinum.

“Overall we expect that the group will make steady progress in 2013/14 notwithstanding this loss of revenue.”