A GLOBAL chemicals company operating North-East plants says demand for its products remains robust.

Johnson Matthey says it made good progress in the first quarter to June 30, despite effects from foreign currency translation and changes to deals with Anglo American Platinum.

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

Loading article content

The firm owns technology firm Tracerco, in Billingham, and runs Stockton-based Davy Process Technology and Billingham precious metal producer Chilton.

Earlier this year, it reported its full-year results to March 31, which revealed revenues lifted to £11.2bn, and underlying pre-tax profits rose to £427m.

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

Referring to its latest results, Tim Stevenson, Johnson Matthey chairman, said: “We have made progress in the first quarter in the face of headwinds from foreign currency translation and the loss of commission revenue from Anglo.

“Sales excluding precious metals sales were flat at £749m against £745m in quarter one of 2013/2014, with growth in emission control technologies offset by the expected softening in process technologies and precious metal products.

“Looking ahead, demand is robust and we expect performance to be broadly in line with 2013/14.

“Continued growth across the group will be offset by the adverse impact of the loss of commission revenue from Anglo, approximately £30m, and by foreign currency translation, which could reduce reported underlying operating profit by more than £25m if current rates prevail.”