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ADHD API sales up, specialty opiates down at Johnson Matthey in Q1

By Gareth MacDonald+

23-Jul-2014
Last updated on 23-Jul-2014 at 11:30 GMT

Johnson Matthey’s API business had a mixed fiscal Q1 with gains made in ADHD ingredients and bulk opiates being accompanied by a decline in revenue from specialty opiates.

The UK chemicals and precious metals firm unveiled its results for the three months ended June 30 earlier today, explaining that its fine chemicals business generated revenue of £78m ($133m), down from £81m in the equivalent period 12 months ago.

It said that while sales of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) actives like methylphenidate and other bulk opiates grew in the quarter, revenue from specialty opiates had fallen.

The Johnson Matthey statement does not go into details about the performance of the fine chemicals unit, although the firm does make clear that “operating profit was ahead” of that seen in Q1 in the previous fiscal year.

The firm did not say if the profit hike was as a result of the recently completed restructuring of its API business, which included job cuts at its UK drug actives manufacturing unit Macfarlan Smith .

Profits down, sales flat

The mixed performance of the fine chemical’s unit – which also includes Johnson Matthey’s chiral technologies and catalysis division – was echoed across the firms wider business.

Overall for the three months to June 30, Johnson Matthey reported that its profit before tax was down 10% to £95m as a result of currency exchange rates, the loss of commission revenue from its agreement with Anglo American Platinum.

Quarterly revenue, excluding the sale of precious metals, was also flat at £749m with gains made in Johnson Matthey’s emissions control business offset by a decline in process technologies sales.

The firm – which is due to hold its annual general meeting later this morning – did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.

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