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Johnson Matthey, which has firms on Teesside, reports slight dip in 2012 figures
A GLOBAL chemicals company which owns businesses based in the North-East has seen a drop in sales.
Johnson Matthey, which runs technology firm Tracerco, in Billingham, near Stockton, revealed sales had fallen by two per cent to £635m in the third quarter from October 1 2012, with profits at £84.3m and overall net debt at £739m.
The firm, who also own environmental technology companies Davy Process Technology and Haverton, in Billingham, and Stockton-based precious metal producer, Chilton, said the economic climate was challenging, but expected a steady financial performance in 2013.
A report revealed underlying profits fell by 19 per cent, mainly due to the mix of sales in its environmental technology and precious metal divisions, and purchase of lithium-ion batter maker Axeon.
Sales in the company's environmental technology division fell to £456m, with light duty vehicle catalyst sales falling by 10 per cent to £227m due to the drop in demand for high-value diesel products in Europe and a fall in sales in Japan.
The report said the company's process technology sales had increased to £95m and its fine chemicals division recorded sales of £63m, though its precious metal product sales fell to £128m.
The report said: "The group's steady underlying performance is expected to continue for the rest of the financial year and we anticipate the performance in the second half of the year will be similar to that for the first six months."
The outlook for our environmental technologies division is stable and the relatively weak performance in Europe and Japan is expected to continue into the new calendar year.
"The underlying performance of our fine chemicals division in the second half of the year is expected to be slightly behind that in the first half."