Firm benefits from a rise in car production

The British Airways i360 in Brighton. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

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AN engineering firm with a site in Portsmouth has forecast another year of progress as it continues to benefit from a recovery in global car production.

GKN, which makes drive shafts for almost half of all new cars, increased annual profits by 17 per cent to £578m as sales rose 10 per cent to £7.6bn last year.

The business makes fuselage, fan blades and cockpit windshields from sites including Portsmouth.

Global car production increased four per cent to 84.8m vehicles last year and should rise by another three per cent this year, with increases in China, North America and Europe likely to be offset by a decline in Japan.

GKN, which has around 5,000 of its 48,000 workforce in the UK, added that increased production from Airbus and Boeing has given a boost to its aircraft components division.

GKN Aerospace’s 2014 sales are expected to be slightly higher than the prior year, due to its presence on new commercial programmes .

Chief executive Nigel Stein said: ‘We expect the group’s progress to continue in 2014.’

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