LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Catalysts maker Johnson Matthey posted on Thursday a small increase in half-year profits thanks to strong autocatalysts sales and lifted its profit forecast for the year.
The world's largest autocatalyst maker reported an underlying pretax profit of 216.4 million pounds ($338.6 million) for the half year to the end of September, up 2 percent from the same period last year, helped by stricter EU regulation on vehicle emission which boosted sales of its catalysts.
That compared with company-provided analyst forecasts of between 194.1 million and 220.1 million pounds.
The company, which also refines and recycles platinum group metals, said it expected the group's performance in the current financial year would be slightly ahead of last year.
In June, it had said it expected flat profits due to the negative impact of a stronger pound and the end of buying deal with platinum producer Anglo American Platinum.
1 US dollar = 0.6391 British pound Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; Editing by Mark Potter