Growth of more than a quarter at its Worcestershire-based Driveline business has helped engineering giant GKN to post a 17 per cent rise in first quarter sales.
Redditch-based GKN turned over £1.74 billion in the first three months of 2012, compared to £1.49 billion in the same period last year. It made a trading profit of £142 million across the quarter, which represented a 19 per cent increase.
That came after the Driveline business saw first quarter sales increase by 26 per cent to £847 million, with an improved trading margin of 7.6 per cent.
The firm was boosted by a growing automotive market, with global light vehicle production rising by four per cent in the first quarter to 20.4 million vehicles, with 49 per cent growth in Japan, 15 per cent growth in North America and five per cent growth in India more than offsetting declines in Brazil, Europe, and China.
Nigel Stein, chief executive of GKN, said the firm was helped by a strong performance from both the 2011 acquisitions.
He added: “GKN has made an excellent start to the year with sales up 17 per cent and margin improvement in all four divisions. Last year’s acquisitions, Getrag Driveline Products and Stromag, have been successfully integrated and both made a strong contribution.
"Despite some macro-economic uncertainty, we expect 2012 to be a year of good progress for GKN based on our market leadership positions, advanced technology and extensive global footprint.”
GKN also revealed a nine per cent rise in powder metallurgy sales, a five per cent rise in aerospace and a 20 per cent increase at its Land Systems arm.