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Johnson Matthey hikes dividend after sharp rise in 2019 profit

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For fiscal year 2019/20, the company expects growth in operating performance at constant rates to be within its medium-term guidance of “mid to high single digit” growth.

Johnson Matthey PLC (LON:JMAT) hiked its dividend by 7% as it delivered a sharp rise in 2019 pre-tax profit and maintained its guidance for the year ahead.

The speciality chemicals company posted pre-tax profit of £488mln for the year to the end of March, up 53% on the previous year, on revenue up 5% to £10.7bn.

Last year’s profits were dented by a £50mln charge to settle a lawsuit with an automotive original equipment manufacturer supplier in the US. The group also took an impairment and restructuring charge of £90mln.

Excluding items, underlying pre-tax profit increased 8% to £523mln in 2019.

Sales, excluding precious metals, rose by 10% to £4.2bn, driven by a strong performance in its Clean Air business, which makes technology to reduce emissions from vehicles.

The group raised its full-year dividend to 85.5p from 80.0p last year.

For fiscal year 2019/20, the company expects growth in operating performance at constant rates to be within its medium-term guidance of “mid to high single digit” growth.

At current foreign exchange rates, however, currency movements are expected to hurt sales and underlying operating profit by £6mln and £2mln, respectively.

Johnson Matthey makes catalytic converters for a third of the world’s cars but has been developing a new type of battery material called eLNO, which it hopes will help it tap into the growing electric vehicles market.

The company also said it continues to make progress in commercialising eLNO, having secured its first plant and a long-term supply agreement for raw materials with Nemaska Lithium.

Source - Proactive Investors

About the author

Philip Scott

Head of Equities, Director

Philip has worked as a Private Client Stockbroker for nearly 20 years, commencing his career in Operations with Rensburg Sheppards (now part of Investec plc) before spending 9 years with Killik & Co advising on and directly managing portfolios. He joined SI Capital in 2006 to head up the Private Client Advisory desk.

Philip is a regular contributor to local media commenting on stock market dynamics and is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (MCSI). His RDR qualification gained special recognitionfrom the CISI for achieving the highest combined pass mark in the country for the Investment Advice Diploma in 2012.

“At SI Capital I enjoy being part of a talented team who collectively share the same desire to provide excellence in service.  My focus is to ensure that each client receives effective and optimal management of their assets.”

Philip lives locally, is married with 2 daughters and is an avid sports fan (if now predominantly from the sidelines).  His other interests include music and film.

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