The price of shares in FTSE 100 chemicals firm Johnson Matthey (LON:JMAT) dropped by 4.20% to 2,099p (as of 14:25 BST) after the company reported a 38% decline in pre-tax profits for the year ended 31st March. Revenues for the period were up by 36%, but this was driven by higher precious metals prices and was down on an underlying basis.
CEO Robert MacLeod commented: “Given the ongoing uncertainty, we are unable to provide financial guidance for 2020/21. In Clean Air, our customers are gradually ramping up their plants but visibility on the path of recovery remains low. Efficient Natural Resources is later cycle and we anticipate an impact as lower demand begins to affect the industries it serves. Health is relatively unaffected by the macroeconomic environment and should benefit from new customer contracts. In Battery Materials, the commercialisation of eLNO remains on track. Notwithstanding the strong financial position of the group, in light of the current uncertainty and to balance the needs of all stakeholders, the board is proposing a final dividend for the year of 31.125 pence, representing half the level of the 2018/19 final dividend.
“These developments do not change the global trends that will drive our longer term growth. Addressing climate change remains a priority and commitments to net zero are gathering pace across the world. Our continued investment in strategic growth projects and leading sustainable technologies uniquely positions us to address this and other key global trends, delivering significant value for our shareholders and society“.