By Ben Simmons

Full year sales were up 13% for GKN, delivering a 15% boost in profitability for the UK-based automotive and aerospace parts company.

The FTSE 100 listed company delivered a 20% boost in share dividends (LSE: GKN), whilst full year share values rose 9% to 22.6p.

“2011 was a year of good growth,” comments Nigel Stein, GKN Chief Executive. “GKN achieved a strong financial performance with all four divisions at or near record profits.

“Each division has leading technology and market positions and out-performed their respective markets, with a strong pipeline of new business. GKN Driveline and GKN Land Systems were further strengthened with the two highly complementary acquisitions of Getrag Driveline Products and Stromag.

Financial highlights include:
• Group sales up £683 million (13%) to £6.1 billion, an underlying increase of 10%
• Excluding net £19 million Gallatin charge:
o Trading profit of £487 million, up £76 million, an increase of 18%
o Group trading margin of 8.0%, up from 7.6%, and increased targets set for three divisions
• Profit before tax of £417 million (2010: £363 million), an increase of 15%. Reported profit before tax, £351 million (2010: £345 million)
• Earnings per share up 9% to 22.6 pence per share (2010: 20.7 pence per share)
• Return on average invested capital (excluding 2011 acquisitions) of 18.3% (2010: 17.0%), reflecting higher profitability
• Final dividend of 4.0 pence per share, giving a total for 2011 of 6.0 pence per share (2010: 5.0 pence per share), a 20% increase
• Net debt of £538 million (2010: £151 million), reflecting £444 million for new acquisitions

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