Chemicals giant Johnson Matthey announces plans to cut hundreds of jobs

By Staff

Chemicals manufacturer Johnson Matthey announced plans on Wednesday (November 22) to cut 600 jobs.

The battery materials business said the cuts would come in an effort to reduce costs and reship the business. As part of the cuts bosses said up 30% of its management team would be affected.

The London-based, global company, which makes catalytic converters for vehicles, said it wants to focus on being a global energy transition company. Johnson Matthey has multiple bases across the South East, including Swindon, up to the North East and North West.

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The 600 affected roles will be in its support functions, as the company moves to outsource more work. This latest round of job-cuts adds to the reduction of 900 roles after the company confirmed plans to close four manufacturing sites, including three overseas which were shut earlier this year.

As of March 2023 an estimated 12,600 people were employed by the group in more than 30 countries around the world.

A spokesman for the company said: “Johnson Matthey is transitioning to being a global energy transition company focussed on our core precious metals and catalysing technologies, and we are rightsizing the supporting functional organisation with a reduction of around 600 people as we are outsourcing business processes. We are also investing significantly in new technologies and hiring more talent in engineering and commercial roles.”

Bosses at Johnson Matthey said the global company is on track to have made more than £150m in yearly cost savings by the early part of 2025. Yet earlier this year, the London-listed company fell off the FTSE 100, the UK’s top stock market, joining the FTSE 250 after its share price plunged.

Liam Condon, Johnson Matthey’s chief executive said: “We are executing on our transformation at pace to simplify the business and drive improved performance. Across the group, we continue to upskill our commercial capabilities and our transformation programme is creating a more streamlined organisation and unlocking significant cost savings.”

The group was impacted by lower precious metal prices in the latest half-year. Pre-tax profits more than halved to £82m in the six months to September, from £188m the prior year.

If precious metal prices remain at their current level for the rest of the financial year, Johnson Matthey said it could sustain an £80m hit to its full-year performance compared with the previous year. But the business said it is expecting its operating profit to grow by about 8% to 9% over the full year.

Its share price was up by about 5% on Wednesday morning.

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