By Marcus Leach

Johnson Matthey celebrated with the cream of British business last night at the prestigious and influential National Business Awards in partnership with Orange, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

The company, founded in 1817, was awarded with the ‘Coutts & Co Large-Cap Business of the Year’ Accolade.

Johnson Matthey is a world leader in speciality chemicals, particularly catalysts and other sustainable technologies. Research and development underpins its success and over the years the company has pioneered many important technologies.

The company impressed the judges by returning to strong growth after resilience in a tough market over the last five years, and posting impressive results for 2011. Commenting on the company judges said; “Chemicals giant Johnson Matthey achieved a 27% increase in revenue and a 36% rise in profit before tax in 2010, and grew the full year dividend by 18%.”

“All of this year’s finalists have demonstrated resilience and outstanding strength through the last year," Michael Morley, CEO at Coutts & Co commented.

"Johnson Matthey, in particular, returned impressive results in an environment that remains turbulent for firms of all size. Looking to the future, we expect slower growth in developed markets for several years, until the deleveraging process has run its course.

"Nevertheless, strong leadership, good management, investment and innovation can bring out the best in companies, even in difficult times. .Johnson Matthey is evidence of that.

“Coutts was extremely proud to sponsor the National Business Awards’ Large-Cap Business of the Year for the third consecutive year and would like to congratulate Johnson Matthey on their well-deserved win.”

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP delivered the welcome address to 1100 top UK business leaders and entrepreneurs in attendance including Dr Richard Ward, CEO, Lloyd’s; Jasmine Whitbread, International CEO, Save the Children; Martin McCourt, CEO, Dyson and Lord Wolfson, Chief Executive of Next who won the Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business.

“The National Business Awards are a celebration of the very best in British business. They are a unique opportunity to recognise the hard work you all do, as small businesses or multi-national companies, to achieve commercial success”, said Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP.

“Day in and day out I meet the sorts of businesses that are up for an Award this year and they all have one thing in common: a relentless capacity to focus on results. It is from that effort and endeavour that great things emerge — new ideas, new products and new jobs”, the Chancellor added.

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