Strictly embargoed until 07:00 Thursday 2 February 2012
AVON RUBBER p.l.c. ("Avon", the "Group" or the "Company")
INTERIM MANAGEMENT STATEMENT FOR THE PERIOD FROM 1 OCTOBER 2011 TO 1 FEBRUARY 2012
Protection & Defence
In Protection & Defence we have orders in hand from the US Department of Defense (DoD) which will allow us to deliver higher volumes of the M50 respirator in our 2012 financial year. On 20 December 2011 we announced the award of a five year contract for the M61 filter evaluated at $176m,includingan initial order worth $2.5m for immediate delivery. One of the losing bidders has raised a contractual protest to the DoD, which will delay delivery dates for this order, although our expectations of deliveries for the full year remain unchanged.Deliveries against our $6.1m filter order, placed under a separate three year contract and announced at the same time,areunaffected.
The pipeline of sales opportunities remains strong in our non-DoD markets, albeit in the current economic and political environment the exact timing of the receipt of orders is difficult to predict.
Our new program of product range expansion and enhancement (Project Fusion), which is expected to provide further organic growth from 2013, has commenced and is progressing to plan.
In Dairy strong market conditions prevail and we have seen further growth in sales of our Milk-Rite brand, in particular the Impulse Mouthpiece Vented Liner (IP-MV) which achieved a 10% market share in North America, offsetting weaker demand from some of our OE customers. We have also opened a sales and distribution centre in China to further capitalise on the extensive opportunity in that region.
The Group's balance sheet remains robust with net debt at 31 December 2011 at £7.0m (30 September 2011: £11.8m) due to the timing of working capital movements. Net debt is expected to increase by half year due to the working capital required to fulfil the filter orders as well as further acceleration in our programme of investment in product development.
The Board believes that the financial year will deliver further progress although, as last year, the timing of filter deliveries is likely to result in a greater second half year weighting.
For further enquiries, please contact:
Avon Rubber p.l.c.
Peter Slabbert, Chief Executive
Andrew Lewis, Group Finance Director
Miles Ingrey-Counter, Company Secretary
Weber Shandwick Financial
020 7067 0700
020 7067 0700
NOTES TO EDITORS: Avon Rubber p.l.c. is a world leader in the design, test and manufacture of advanced Chemical, Biological,Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) respiratory protection solutions to the worlds military, law enforcement, first responder,
emergency services, fire and industrial markets. Avon has a unique capability in CBRN protection based on a range of advanced
CBRN technologies in respirator design, filtration and compressed air breathing apparatus. This enables Avon to develop specialised
solutions that take full account of user requirements. Avon also owns a world leading dairy business manufacturing liners and
tubing for the automated milking process. For further information please visit the Group's website www.avon-rubber.com
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