Avon Protection PLC on Tuesday reduced its total dividend and swung to a loss in its latest year, but said it expects revenue growth going forward.
The Wiltshire, England-based personal protection equipment company reported a $20.2 million loss from continuing operations for the year ended September 30, following the prior year’s $6.0 million profit.
Avon said revenue from continuing operations fell 7.5% to $243.8 million from $263.5 million, mainly due to ‘expected’ weaker demand in Respiratory Protection. Order intake decreased 3.4% to $258.7 million but the order book closed up 12% at $135.8 million.
Avon declared a final dividend of 15.3 US cents per share, down from 30.6 cents the year before. This brought the total dividend to 29.6 US cents per share, down 34% from 44.9 cents.
Net debt at September 30 was $85.4 million, up from $68.0 million on October 1, 2022.
Avon incurred a $24.6 million impairment of goodwill charge, up from $4.0 million the prior year. Depreciation, amortisation and impairment totalled $45.4 million, up from $26.2 million. General and administrative expenses meanwhile increased to $73.4 million from $52.7 million.
Going forward, Avon expects high single-digit revenue growth in the current financial year, although this should be weighted in the second half. It also intends to reduce its net debt position with ‘strong operating cash flows and rebased dividend’.
Shares in Avon Protection were down 3.1% at 770.00 pence in London on Tuesday.
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