We up­date on John­son Matthey, Filta, Telford Homes and Ib­stock

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Gain to date: 22.1% Orig­i­nal entry point: Buy at £30.66, 21 De­cem­ber 2017

EN­COUR­AG­ING AN­NUAL RE­SULTS from chem­i­cals group John­son Matthey (JMAT) have helped the shares to rise fur­ther.

John­son Matthey de­vel­ops cat­alytic con­vert­ers to re­duce emis­sions from cars; it cre­ates ac­tive phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­gre­di­ents for treat­ments; and offers so­lu­tions to im­prove agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion.

There was ro­bust trad­ing in the year to 31 March 2018 de­spite pre-tax profit fall­ing by 1% on a con­stant cur­rency ba­sis to £486m.

The stand­out per­for­mance was the clean air di­vi­sion as heavy duty diesel and light duty sales sup­ported a 9% jump in revenue to £2.45bn.

Sig­nif­i­cant progress was achieved for John­son Matthey’s en­hanced lithium nickel ox­ide ma­te­rial (eLNO), which could po­ten­tially dis­rupt the mar­ket with higher en­ergy den­sity and lower cobalt us­age. The com­pany is dou­bling ca­pac­ity at its bat­tery ma­te­ri­als demon­stra­tion plant to 1,000 tonnes.

The mar­ket has val­ued Umi­core’s au­to­mo­tive bat­tery busi­ness at €3bn, but John­son Matthey’s bat­tery oper­a­tions have been given vir­tu­ally zero value. One ex­pla­na­tion is that Umi­core ad­dresses to­day’s mar­ket, but John­son Matthey is tar­get­ing next-gen­er­a­tion ma­te­ri­als such as eLNO where pro­duc­tion is not ex­pected to start un­til 2021-2022.

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