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Johnson Matthey share price outperforms as group hikes dividend

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Shares in Johnson Matthey (LON:JMAT) have advanced in today’s session, even as the company posted a fall in full-year profits. The group, however, reported a rise in sales and revenue, and hiked its payout to shareholders.

As of 10:22 BST, Johnson Matthey’s share price had added 1.03 percent to 3,432.00p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.25 percent higher at 7,708.61 points. The group’s shares have added just under 11 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.4-percent gain in the Footsie.

Johnson Matthey posts results

Johnson Matthey announced in a statement this morning that its revenue had jumped 17 percent to £14.12 billion in the financial year ended March 31. The group’s operating profit, however, fell 27 percent to £359 million. On an underlying basis, the specialty chemicals group saw its sales excluding precious metals rise seven percent to £3.85 billion, while profit before tax came in one percent higher at £482 million.

“We had a good year. We have made significant progress in executing our strategy and delivered a financial performance in line with our expectations at the start of the year,” Johnson Matthey’s chief executive Robert MacLeod commented in the statement, adding that the company was proposing an increase in the final dividend of seven percent, reflecting confidence in the group’s prospects.

Analysts on blue-chip group

Liberum Capital reiterated its ‘hold’ stance on Johnson Matthey today, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 3,592.22p.

Today’s update comes after Johnson Matthey recently appointed Patrick Thomas to succeed Tim Stevenson as Chairman. Since 2015, Thomas has been Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Management of polymers business Covestro.

As of 10:42 BST, Thursday, 31 May, Johnson Matthey PLC share price is 3,438.00p.

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