Shares in Johnson Matthey were down on the FTSE 100 in afternoon trading ahead of the chemical company's full year results, expected tomorrow.

The group reported strong trading in its third quarter update in February, with its Environmental Technologies division reporting a rise in sales of 21 per cent, Precious Metals sales increasing 32 per cent and Fine Chemicals sales climbing 10 per cent.

As well as the rise in sales the board of Johnson Matthey said it had higher expectations for its full year results.

Keith Bowman, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented, "While positive trends are expected, some slowing in growth may have been witnessed over the fourth quarter. Turning to the numbers, sales of £10.2 billion are forecast (+30.3 per cent year on year)m with pre-tax profit of £323 million expected (+27.2 per cent year on year) on the same consensus basis. Prior to the results, market consensus opinion currently denotes a strong hold/cautious buy."

By 13:55 shares in Johnson Matthey were down 0.38 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 2,111.00.