Engineering company GKN beat City forecasts with a 5% jump in pre-tax profits to £278m, an extra £7m more than expected.
Volatile global car and truck sales lead the firm to turn its attentions to a booming civil aviation market with the change in tact increasing profits. Shares in the firm rose 7% to 349.9p yesterday.
The group’s aerospace business produces wing and body components for commercial aircraft makers Boeing and Airbus. A record number of planes being produced boosted profits for GKN over the first half of the year.
A £633m deal agreed last year for Volvo’s aero-engine division along with record output levels from Boeing and Airbus, with more than 1,200 airliners expected to be delivered this year, helped the group’s aerospace business to a 37% rise in profit.
“For the first time in GKN’s history, our aerospace division was the largest profit contributor of our four divisions,” said Nigel Stein, GKN chief executive.
“Overall, with a stronger second half profit performance anticipated, we expect 2013 to be a year of good progress for the group, helped by the contribution from GKN Aerospace Engine Systems,” Mr Stein added.
GKN refused to comment on rumours linking it with a bid for US group Spirit Aerosystems.