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Avon Protection plc (“Avon” or the “Group”) today provides the following post close trading update for its financial year ended 30 September 2021 (“FY21”).

Trading update

Avon has continued to see good commercial momentum in the second half of FY21, with order intake for the year of c.$280 million. This represents total year-on-year order growth of 34% and growth of 15% excluding Team Wendy. As a result, the Group has carried a strong closing order book of $141 million into the new financial year (“FY22”), up 39% on 30 September 2020. This momentum underpins confidence in the Group’s growth expectations for FY22.

The Group expects to report revenue of $250 million for FY21 (2020: $213.6 million), which is within the range indicated in our trading update of 13 August 2021. This includes a Team Wendy contribution of $41 million from the first 11 months of ownership, in line with expectations at the time of acquisition.

As expected, we have seen revenue growth in our First Responder business and Military respiratory portfolio, offset by declines in Military ballistic revenue due to the previously announced delays. Overall, Military revenue is expected to decline by 3% to $149 million with respiratory revenue growth of 10% being offset by a 31% decline in Military ballistic revenues. First Responder revenues are expected to have increased by 2% to $61 million, against a strong comparator in 2020, driven by very encouraging growth in our ballistic protection portfolio.

Trading profitability in the remainder of FY21 was in line with the expectations set out in the August trading update. The Group will however recognise one-off, non-cash, ballistic protection inventory adjustments, which are expected to reduce the reported adjusted EBITDA margin for FY21 to between 15% and 16%.

Cash conversion has come through more strongly than anticipated at the time of the August trading update. As a result, we expect FY21 reported cash conversion of c.80% and net debt before lease liabilities of $27 million at 30 September 2021.

Commenting, Paul McDonald, Chief Executive Officer, said:

"We have made considerable commercial progress over the last 12 months in continuing to build a broader portfolio of contracts, increasing our pipeline of opportunities and making record levels of investment in the business.

We carry significant commercial momentum into FY22, which will also benefit from a strong ramp-up in body armor, as well as the strengthened senior management, processes and infrastructure we have put in place over the past year whilst navigating the ongoing disruption related to Covid through our supply chains.

We remain well set for growth in FY22 and beyond and are as confident as ever about the medium-term prospects of Avon Protection. This is underpinned by a strong order book, a growing and visible contract pipeline and our global market leading positions in respiratory and ballistic protection.”

Notice of Results

The Group will release its results for the year ended 30 September 2021 on 23 November 2021.