GKN reports strong start despite Japan disruption

GKN well placed for growth according to CEO Sir Kevin Smith
GKN, the global engineering business that serves the automotive, aerospace and land systems markets, said that it expected some continuing short term impact from disruption in the Japanese automotive market and from supply chain shortages to its customers outside of Japan.

However, the company said it continued to make good progress with the strength of its market positions and healthy order books giving confidence in its prospects for 2011 and beyond

The comments came in an interim management statement covering the year so far.

The statement noted production in Japan was severely impacted by the earthquake and tsunami and some disruption has also been experienced in Europe and North America as a result of component supply problems from Japan.

But the disruption failed to stop GKN registering a 14% increase in sales compared to the same period last year.

Trading profit increased 42% to £119 million, GKN reported.

Chief executive Sir Kevin Smith (pictured) who is to step down later this year, said excellent new products and technologies serving customers' needs to have smaller, lighter and stronger components and systems, offering improved efficiency, lower fuel consumption and greater environmental benefits meant GKN was well placed to achieve sustainable growth.

Ken Hurst

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