Johnson Matthey’s decision to ditch battery scheme to cost it £314m

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Chemicals giant Johnson Matthey’s decision to ditch electric car battery scheme to cost it £314m


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Johnson Matthey’s decision to ditch a pioneering electric car battery scheme will cost the chemical giant £314million.

The FTSE 100 group said it swung to a loss of £9million in the six months to September as it announced the writedown.

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Johnson Matthey said earlier this month it would scrap a decade of work into the project as it is too far behind foreign competitors in China and Korea. It will now plough cash into developing hydrogen technology.

Johnson Matthey said earlier this month it would scrap almost a decade of research and development into electric car batteries because it is too far behind foreign competitors

Johnson Matthey said earlier this month it would scrap almost a decade of research and development into electric car batteries because it is too far behind foreign competitors

The move has dealt a blow to Britain’s ambition to become an electric car battery champion.

Johnson Matthey also said it had sold its Advanced Glass Technologies business for £178million to the Italian group Fenzi. 

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The company, which makes most of its money from selling catalytic converters for cars, is also looking at offloading its healthcare division.

Chief executive Robert MacLeod is due to step down in February and will be replaced by Liam Condon of Bayer who is expected to launch a review into the firm.

Amid the downbeat results, Johnson Matthey appealed to investors by hiking the dividend by 10 per cent to 22p and committing to a £200million share buyback.

But shares in the group dropped by as much as 8 per cent in early trading putting its future in the FTSE 100 under threat. Its shares closed 2.2 per cent lower, down 47p, to 2,135p.

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