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GKN profit rises 17 pct in 2013 on automotive boost

LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - British car and plane parts maker GKN reported a 17 percent rise in annual profit, beating analyst expectations, as strong demand in its automotive unit offset sluggish growth in military markets.

GKN, which makes chassis and axles for carmakers such as Volkswagen and airframes for planemakers Airbus and Boeing, on Tuesday posted pretax profit of 578 million pounds ($961.25 million), ahead of a company-supplied consensus forecast of 565 million pounds.

"Although some of our end markets were challenging, we continued to show growth. We expect the Group's progress to continue in 2014," chief exectuive Nigel Stein said in a statement.