LONDON Jan 30 Platinum refiner Johnson Matthey
PLC saw profits dip in the third quarter because of
lower sales of catalysts for vehicle exhaust systems in the
high-value diesel category in Europe and weaker demand in Japan.
The British group said it saw no upturn in Europe and Japan
for its catalytic converter business in the new calendar year,
but the weaker markets should be mitigated by slightly more
promising prospects in North America.
It said on Wednesday that it still expected the group's
performance in the second half to be similar to the first half.
Sales, excluding precious metal sales, were down 2 percent
at 635 million pounds ($1 billion) in the third quarter, while
underlying pretax profit was down 19 percent at 84.3 million
pounds, mainly because of the change in mix in its catalysts
business and lower sales in its precious metals unit.