Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Avon Rubber to rebrand as protective gear becomes main focus

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Avon Rubber has announced it will be rebranding to better reflect its new business focus – providing personal protection equipment to the military and law enforcement around the world.

The Melksham-based firm trailed its new name – Avon Protection – as it published half-year results that show significant growth.

The firm said it was well-positioned in a growing market, with global security threats on the rise.

Increasing geopolitical tension from China and Russia, the proliferation of chemical weapons, growing civil unrest, and the pandemic raising awareness of biological risks have led to increased demand, it said.

Revenue climbed by 41 percent to $122 million while profit before tax rose by 23.1 percent to $16 million in the six months to March 31.

Orders were up 45 percent, with military orders up 31.3 percent, first responder orders climbing 28.3 percent, and orders from recently-acquired safety helmet manufacturer Team Wendy coming in at $18.4 million.

“Following the transformation of the Group in 2020 into a leading provider of life-critical personal protection systems, we have made a strong start to 2021, continuing to deliver organic growth in orders and revenues, together with further progress against our strategic objectives," said CEO Paul McDonald.

"We have seen significant growth in respiratory protection from both Military and First Responder customers, while Team Wendy has performed well following the acquisition in November 2020, and we completed the integration of the ballistic protection business acquired in January 2020 from 3M.

"We are making good progress to resolve the delays in product approval for our body armour programmes and remain on track to commence shipments in the first half of our 2022 financial year.

"Given the $157m order book and strong pipeline of opportunities across our personal protection portfolio, we are confident of delivering full-year expectations and remain excited by the medium-term prospects.

"Reflecting our transformation into a focussed provider of life-critical personal protection systems we plan to change our name to Avon Protection plc during the second half of the year.”

  • The Avon India Rubber Company began producing rubber goods including solid tyres, conveyor belts, and components for railways in 1885. Pneumatic tyres, Wellington boots, diving suits, and inflatable boats followed in the early 20th century. The Avon Tyres business was sold to the American firm Cooper Tire in 1997.