Johnson Matthey left its full-year guidance unchanged, but said performance would be more heavily weighted to the second half amid flat sales in the first quarter of the year.

Sales growth in Clean Air in the first quarter was offset by lower sales in Efficient Natural Resources and Health, whilst New Markets was broadly flat, the company said.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, however, its clean air division was expected to come under pressure, with the company warning that it expected operating profit to be slightly below the prior year, which it blamed on 'higher than anticipated short term costs to serve the strong growth in our European Light Duty business, partly caused by phasing of the completion of our new plant in Poland, and the impact of a delay to the timing of the implementation of China VI legislation.'

Its Efficient Natural Resources segment was expected to perform better amid expectations for operating profit growth ahead of sales.

'Our group guidance, at constant rates, for the year ended 31st March 2020 remains unchanged. We expect growth in operating performance at constant rates to be within our medium term guidance of mid to high single digit growth,' the company said.