London Markets: Johnson Matthey skids on warning and CEO exit, while Burberry slips on sales miss


Johnson Matthey shares skidded as much as 20% on Thursday as the chemicals company issued a profit warning, said its chief executive was leaving and said it will sell its battery division.

The company JMAT, -18.42% said results in the March 2022-ending fiscal year will be at the lower end of expectations due to supply-chain shortages hitting the automotive industry and precious metals prices, with labor shortages also hitting its U.S. health business. Expectations were for a full-year underlying operating profit between £550 million ($738 million) and £636 million.

On battery materials, the company said it’s “rapidly turning into a high volume, commoditized market” and that its capital intensity is too high relative to large-scale, low-cost producers.

Robert MacLeod will retire after eight years, to be succeeded by Liam Condon, Bayer’s president of crop science.

Burberry BRBY, -5.82% was another faller, skidding 6% as the luxury retailer reported weaker-than-forecast 6% rise in comparable-store sales in the second quarter, even as it beat operating profit forecasts, paid a dividend and announced a £150 million stock buyback.

The broader FTSE 100 UKX, +0.44% advanced 0.4%, helped by metals producers as gold resumed its upward march following the stark acceleration in U.S. consumer prices.

Auto Trader AUTO, +13.16% shares jumped 13% after the U.K. and Ireland used-car advertising portal recorded its highest-ever half-year profit and revenue. Demand for used cars has skyrocketed since vehicle makers haven’t had enough parts to make new ones.

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