GKN owner encouraged by momentum

Industrial group Melrose is encouraged by the start it has made to 2021 with most of its divisions trading well.

The GKN owner said it is “trading modestly ahead of expectations” after momentum seen in the second half of 2020 continued into the first four months of this year.

Simon Peckham, chief executive of Melrose Industries, said: “We are pleased with our start to the year and hopefully will see this momentum continue for the rest of the year. We are encouraged by the significant improvements made to the GKN businesses being reflected in their financial performance.

“We are confident that GKN will be as successful as previous acquisitions, a track record illustrated recently by the announced sale of Nortek Air Management.”

Last month it agreed to sell Nortek Air Management to Madison Industries for £2.6bn.

Overall, sales are up 8% in the calendar year, with Nortek contributing half of the group’s growth.

Margins have “continued to improve faster than expected”, the company said, which resulted in the first quarter being cash neutral.