GKN profit up 5 pct on aerospace growth

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - Car and plane parts maker GKN posted a better-than-expected 5 percent rise in first half profit, led by a strong performance from its aerospace business.

The British firm on Tuesday reported a pretax profit of 278 million pounds ($426.71 million) in the six months to July, ahead of the average analyst forecast of 272 million pounds, according to a consensus forecast supplied by the company.

GKN, a major supplier to Airbus, Boeing and Ford, increased the interim dividend by 8 percent to 2.6 pence and said revenues grew 12 percent to 3.87 billion.

Shares in GKN, which have risen 20 percent in the last three months, closed at 327.60 pence on Monday, valuing the group at around 5.3 billion pounds.