By Kari Williamson

The increase comes as group sales hit £1483 million, up 11% on Q3'2010.

GKN says performance has remained strong through the seasonally weaker third quarter and order
books support further progress in the fourth quarter, despite the macroeconomic conditions.

Within the company’s Powder Metallurgy division, Sinter Metals’ third-quarter sales grew 16% compared with last year supported by strength in all regions.

Hoeganaes’ third-quarter sales fell 9% following the Gallatin temporary plant closure and the business made a small profit in the period.

Hoeganaes explosion

GKN said it saw one off charges of £11 million in relation to the incident at the Hoeganaes Gallatin plant. Operations have now returned to normal, although pre-incident levels of output and profitability are planned for January 2012.

Five employees were hurt in the explosion at the GKN Hoeganaes plant in Gallatin, Tennessee, USA, at the end of May – two of which later died.

GKN says it has implemented a full plant safety review supported by two independent organisation. Initial indications suggest a hydrogen gas leak was responsible for the incident.

Gallatin produces atomised metal powders for use in manufacturing sintered metal products.