StockMarketWire.com - Johnson Matthey swung to a first half of loss weighed down by a £314 million write down of assets in its battery materials business as the chemicals company exited the industry.

For the half year ended 30 September, pre-tax losses were £9 million compared with a loss of £26 million year-on-year, while revenue was up 23% to £8.59 billion.

Revenue was boosted by higher average precious metal prices.

The interim dividend was raised by 10% to 22.0 pence per share. Looking ahead, the company kept its guidance unchanged and said that the share buyback of £200 million would begin in the new year.

'For 2021/22 we expect growth in underlying operating performance to be low single digit at constant precious metals prices⁵ and constant currency,' the company said.

Johnson Matthey in a separate announcement said it had sold its advanced glass technologies business to Fenzi Holdings for £178 million.

The deal, subject to works council consultation in the Netherlands and the satisfaction of customary completion conditions, was expected to be completed spring 2022.

'The divestment of AGT is consistent with our aim of creating a simpler, more focused portfolio,' the company said. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com