Nov 24 (Reuters) - Johnson Matthey's first-half
profit almost doubled to surpass pre-pandemic levels, the
British chemicals maker said on Wednesday, as it unveiled a
share buyback plan and agreed to sell its glass technologies
The company, which also refines platinum group metals (PGM)
used by carmakers, said this month it would sell https://reut.rs/32vSZB5
its battery materials business and appoint a new chief
executive. It is also in talks about a potential sale of its
Johnson Matthey reported operating profit of 293 million
pounds ($392 million) in the six months to Sept. 30, ahead of an
analyst consensus compiled by the company of 288.3 million and
up from 151 million last year. It said the increase was 102% at
Some analysts have said the sale of the battery business
might lead to a break-up of the company, especially once Bayer's
Liam Condon takes over as chief executive next year.
Johnson Matthey Chief Financial Officer Stephen Oxley and
the board will support Condon's review of the business once he
takes the reins in March, Oxley said in an interview.
"We're open to any opportunity or possibility ... we'll be
looking at all options for the company," he said.
Johnson Matthey will sell its glass technologies business,
which supplies glass enamels to carmakers, for 178 million
pounds ($238 million). The sale is expected to create a profit
of over 100 million pounds which will be returned to
shareholders through a buyback programme worth 200 million.
Johnson Matthey maintained its outlook for the year. It
warned this month that annual results would be towards the lower
end of market expectations due to supply chain shortages in the
auto industry and labour shortages at its health business.
($1 = 0.7480 pounds)
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by
Shailesh Kuber and David Clarke)