Johnson Matthey lifts guidance as sales return to pre-pandemic levels

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Chemicals company Johnson Matthey lifted its guidance on annual performance following a strong start to the year as sales grew sharply in Q1 and returned to pre-pandemic levels.

In the first quarter, the ocmpany delivered strong sales growth of 63% year-on-year, primarily driven by 'increased demand in clean air and also efficient natural resources which benefited from higher precious metal prices and stronger end markets,' the company said.

'Given the strength we are currently seeing in our end markets, we now expect at least mid teens growth in underlying operating performance at constant metal prices5 and constant currency,' the company said.

At current foreign exchange rates, translational foreign exchange movements for the year ending 31st March 2022 were expected to adversely impact underlying operating profit by about £20 million.

'Should metal prices remain at current levels for the rest of this year, we expect a full year net benefit of c.£65 million to underlying operating profit compared with the prior year.'