Johnson Matthey upbeat on investment in EV battery materials, hydrogen

by John Shepherd
Business and energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng (third from right) at JM's UK Battery Technology Centre. Photo: JM
Johnson Matthey (JM) today forecast low-to-mid teens percentage growth this year – but pledged to continue investing cash generated from its established businesses in battery materials and hydrogen.

In preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2021, JM said underlying operating profit fell 5% to £504m compared to the previous year, due to higher administrative expenses and the impact of lower sales as a result of the pandemic.

CEO Robert MacLeod said that in the first half, sales were down 20% in several end markets and "particularly automotive”. The second half saw a strong recovery, with sales up 11% year on year, and "activity across a number of our businesses is now back to pre-pandemic levels”.

'Continued recovery'

"As the world aims to build back greener as we come out of the pandemic, our technologies have never been more relevant,” MacLeod said. "We are already seeing this in the continued recovery of our key end markets and our strong start to the current year.”

The results were announced just weeks after JM said it would build its second commercial plant for enhanced lithium nickel oxide (eLNO) cathode materials in Finland, in partnership with the state-owned Finnish Minerals Group.

Earlier this month, JM’s UK Battery Technology Centre near Oxford – which the company said will play a key role in the commercialisation of its eLNO tech – was officially opened by UK business and energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng.

Related articles in our archive:

Johnson Matthey announces net zero targets at launch of UK battery tech centre

Johnson Matthey selects Finland for second eLNO cathode materials plant