US releases tsunami of economic data and Fed minutes ahead of Thanksgiving Holiday Johnson Matthey, one of the UK’s biggest chemicals companies, has warned that its decision to pull out of the electric battery materials market will cost it £314m. This drove it to a loss before tax of £9m in the six months to 30 September, compared with a profit of £26m a year earlier. Sales rose 23% to £8.6bn as the company benefited from higher precious metals prices and underlying operating profits more than doubled to £293m, ahead of pre-pandemic levels. Demand remains strong in many of our end markets. However, supply chain volatility especially the shortage of semi-conductors is affecting production for a number of our auto and truck customers. Global auto production is now forecast to decline 5% for our fiscal year which is a 14% reduction since our trading update in July. Consequently, precious metal prices have also declined, largely because of the lower demand from the automotive industry. We are also experiencing acute temporary labour shortages in the US that are adversely impacting our Health business.
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