(Alliance News) - Johnson Matthey PLC on Thursday said it remained "well positioned" to tackle market dynamics despite seeing annual profit hit by falling precious metals prices.

In the year ending March, the London-based chemicals maker said pretax profit for continuing operations profit fell 52% to GBP164 million from GBP344 million. Adjusted pretax profit for continuing operations fell 19% to GBP328 million from GBP404 million.

Revenue fell 14% to GBP12.84 billion from GBP14.93 billion.

Shares in Johnson Matthey fell 0.9% to 1,791.00 pence in London on Thursday.

Chief Executive Liam Condon explained lower precious metals prices impacted headline profitability.

The company noted adjusting for the GBP85 million impact from precious metal prices in PGM Services operating profit was up by 11% driven by transformation benefits and higher pricing.

Johnson Matthey said it was "well positioned to navigate changes in market dynamics given strength of portfolio."

Johnson Matthey expects further underlying operating margin improvement in Clean Air and Catalyst Technologies, and raised its cost savings target to GBP200 million by the end of financial 2025. It also increased its Clean Air cash target to at least GBP4.5 billion in the decade to financial 2031.

Condon said the benefits of its transformation strategy were "progressively coming through," leaving him "more confident than ever that we will be successful."

In May 2022, Johnson Matthey set out plans for a strategic overhaul.

It targetted GBP150 million of cost savings by financial 2025 and said a "leaner" Johnson Matthey will focus on "four businesses enabling the automotive, chemical and energy industries transition to net zero".

Looking ahead to financial 2025, Johnson Matthey said it expect at least mid single digit growth in underlying operating performance at constant precious metal prices and constant currency.

In Clean Air, the company expects modest growth in operating performance, with continued margin expansion driven by efficiency benefits.

PGM Services' operating performance is expected to be broadly stable, with limited impact from precious metal prices.

In Catalyst Technologies, Johnson Matthey expects further strong growth in operating performance, with mid-teens margins.

In Hydrogen Technologies, it now expects modest sales growth, with a significantly lower operating loss.

Johnson Matthey declared a 55.0 pence final dividend making an annual dividend of 77.0p, unchanged from a year prior.

By Jeremy Cutler, Alliance News reporter

Comments and questions to newsroom@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2024 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.