Operating profit growth of 6%
Diluted earnings per share increased 29%
Return on sales (EBITDA divided by revenue) improved 0.5% from 19.4% to 19.9%
Continuing healthy conversion of operating profit to operating cash at 163%
Net debt reduced by £4.8m during H1 to £8.4m, after the £3.5m cash acquisition of Argus
Dividend of 3.16p per share up 30%
Acquisition of Argus in October 2015 broadened Protection & Defence product range
Successful integration of InterPuls and Argus into the organisation
Delivered 107,000 M50 mask systems under our long-term sole source DOD contract
Military order pipeline healthy, timing of receipt remains difficult to predict
Milkrite brand continues to grow in cyclically softer dairy market conditions
Cluster Exchange now servicing 446,000 cows on 1,411 farms
Rob Rennie, Chief Executive commented:
"Avon has enjoyed another positive half year, successfully integrating our recent acquisitions which broaden our product range and routes to market. In Dairy, whilst market conditions have, as previously highlighted, reflected cyclically low milk prices, we are encouraged that our own brand Milkrite products and Cluster Exchange service have continued to gain market share.
Trading is normally second-half weighted in our Protection & Defence business and we believe this will again be the case this year. We have a strong forward order book for DOD M50s and a growing pipeline of non-DOD opportunities.
The Board therefore expects to make progress as the year develops and meet market expectations for the full year."