GKN’s third quarter sales were £1103, a decrease of 3% against 2008 values, but an increase of 10% over second quarter levels. GKN is the parent company of US powder metal giant Hoeganaes Corporation.

“The global recession impacted our businesses, initially automotive and powder metallurgy and more recently in off-highway. In response, we have aggressively cut costs. Towards the end of the half year, as production schedules stabilised and with the benefits of the restructuring, automotive (including powder metallurgy) returned to profitability,” said Sir Kevin.

“In automotive, inventory reductions in most regions have led to a more stable operating environment and expectations are for some improvement in production demand through the second half, as the gap between global sales and production volumes continues to narrow.

“Looking forward to the second half, in our automotive and powder metallurgy businesses we expect demand in the third quarter to remain at similar levels to the second quarter due to a quiet August, and improvements in September carrying through to the fourth quarter.

“GKN has made significant progress in realigning its operations to weaker markets. Automotive, including powder metallurgy has returned to profitability. The Group expects to make good progress in the second half.”