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In advance of its Annual General Meeting being held at 10.30am today, Avon Rubber provides the following trading update for its current financial year ending 30 September 2021.

Summary

Trading has continued as expected following the Trading Update on 17 December 2020, with continued good order intake across our portfolio of life critical personal protection systems for the world’s militaries and first responders. We have seen positive order momentum in the Military, First Responder and Team Wendy businesses, and have made progress with the updated body armor designs for the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts ("DLA ESAPI") and U.S. Army Vital Torso Protection ("VTP") contracts. The Board therefore remains confident of achieving its expectations for the current financial year.

Military

Within the Military business, we have received further orders under the NATO Support & Procurement Agency Contract, with the Netherlands becoming the fourth country to join the programme.

Following approval of the U.S. Defense budget we anticipate follow-on orders under our long-term U.S. DOD contracts during the first half of the 2021 financial year and have good visibility of a wider pipeline of global opportunities.

We remain on schedule to submit revised designs for the DLA ESAPI contract during the second quarter and continue to target first deliveries in the early part of our 2022 financial year.

The previously announced protest against the U.S. Army Next Generation Integrated Head Protection System sole source contract has been upheld and the contract is expected to be re-tendered shortly. We believe our product continues to represent the optimal solution for the customer and whilst the delay to the programme created by this protest is unwelcome, we do not currently expect any material impact on Group expectations for our 2021 and 2022 financial years.

First Responder

Within our First Responder business, we have continued to see strong demand across our entire respiratory protection range, in part driven by the ongoing pandemic. We have also continued to see a strong pipeline of opportunities to further broaden our customer base across both our respiratory and ballistic product portfolios.

Team Wendy

Team Wendy has continued to perform well and in line with expectations in the three months of ownership with strong order intake.