“Although some of our end markets remained challenging, we continued to outperform and are reporting good underlying financial results with further benefit from last year’s acquisition, GKN Aerospace Engine Systems (formerly Volvo Aero), which is performing well,” said Nigel Stein, chief executive.
Trading profit also beat analyst expectations to grow 5pc to £278m. However, bottom line pre-tax profit fell 52pc to £134m, after a £91m hit due to adverse foreign exchange movements.
GKN’s car parts business, which supplies components to manufacturers worldwide, also enjoyed a boost from a rise in global car production, where strong growth in China, Brazil and North America offset a steel fall in demand from Europe and Japan.
The company’s Land Systems division, which supplies parts for industrial machinery, provided one dark spot on its half-year results statement. Sales fell 5pc to £487m, while trading profits slumped 13pc to £45m “due to weaker construction, mining, European aftermarket and industrial markets,” the company said in its half-year statement, adding that the agricultural equipment market remained stable.
Shares in GKN rose 5.75pc in early trading.