A GLOBAL chemicals company operating key North- East plants has reported strong revenue growth.

Johnson Matthey says revenues lifted to £11.2bn for the year to March 31, with underlying pre-tax profits rising to £427m.

Sales, excluding precious metals, were 11 per cent higher at £3bn.

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The pollution control maker attributed the increases to healthy performances in its emissions division, which has been helped by European changes to engine catalysts.

A report said the emission control technologies arm saw sales increase by 13 per cent to £1.65bn, with operating profits higher at £203m, thanks to European light-duty vehicle work and growth in Asia.

However, the firm, which owns technology firm Tracerco, in Billingham, and runs Stockton-based Davy Process Technology and Billingham precious metal producer Chilton, warned future growth will be offset by changes to deals with Anglo American Platinum.

Bosses last year agreed a new metal supply deal with Anglo and a contract to market research services.

Neil Carson, Johnson Matthey’s outgoing chief executive, said: “We have performed well, particularly in emission control, with sales up 11 per cent.

“In 2014-15, the company’s continued growth will be offset by the adverse impact of the loss of commission revenue from Anglo Platinum and by the effect of foreign currency translation, if today’s exchange rates prevail.

“We expect the group’s performance in 2014-15 will be broadly in line with 2013-14.