Johnson Matthey: Q1 API revenues down on order timings

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Johnson matthey Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

Johnson Matthey said a slight decrease in API sales during the first quarter of its fiscal year was due to the timing of customer orders.

Total revenue for the quarter was £822m an increase of 6% on last year, or 2% excluding currency fluctuations. Emission control technologies were the key driver generating revenue of £521m, up 5%, which offset a 1% decline in process technology sales.

The UK firm’s fine chemicals unit – which makes active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and catalysis chemicals – generated revenue of £59m in the three months to June 30, down 5% on the year earlier quarter. The result excluded the research chemicals business Alfa Aesar​ that was sold to Thermo Fisher last June. 

Johnson Matthey said: “Our AP Manufacturing business’ sales were slightly down due to timing of orders. Catalysis and Chiral Technologies had a good start to the year with strong demand for homogeneous catalysts​.”

Its API manufacturing business supplies ingredients for pain medications, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatments and bulk actives used in addiction therapy and Alzheimer’s disease.

Johnson Matthey’s drug ingredients are produced at plants in Annan and Edinburg in Scotland and at for facilities in the US.

Last October​, the firm acquired Sigma-Aldrich’s Pharmorphix unit, which provides polymorph studies, salt selection, co-crystallization, chiral separations and process scale-up for API development.

At the time it said the deal would add a 'significant' customer base and expand its European API business.

Brexit and outlook

Johnson Matthey said it was on course to better its performance in the previous financial year, adding that it expects to continue to benefit from sterling’s weakness following the UK’s recent vote to withdraw from the European Union (EU), also known as Brexit.

It also said although it “is too early to predict the exact consequences of the UK’s vote to leave the EU…the board currently believes that this will not have a long term material impact on Johnson Matthey and we continue to focus on executing our strategy for the group.

We will continue to grow the business by investing in R&D, our manufacturing facilities and our employees, whilst improving our health and safety performance and delivering the very best products and service for our customers​.”

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