US rebound drives profits at GKN

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The Independent Online

The car and aircraft parts maker GKN has posted a record profit as a rebound in the US vehicle market outweighed a slowdown in Europe.

The company, which makes chassis and axles for car makers and airframes for Airbus and Boeing, reported a 19 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to £497m for 2012, comfortably ahead of analysts' forecasts of about £475m. Revenues rose by 13 per cent to £6.9bn.

Profits at the Driveline unit, whose customers include Volkswagen, Renault, General Motors and Ford, increased by 7.3 per cent, while the aerospace unit was 2 per cent up.

However, GKN was cautious about the prospects for its car-related units.

Car sales slumped to a 17-year low across Europe last year, although they rose 5.3 per cent in Britain. Industry estimates show European sales falling by 1.7 per cent this year.