RNS Number : 6112C
Armour Group PLC
02 May 2012
Armour Group plc ("Armour" or the "Group")
Armour, the UK's leading consumer electronics group focused on the in-car communications and entertainment and home entertainment markets, today issues the following trading update:
As outlined in the AGM statement, the Group's automotive division has continued to grow profitably in the first half of the year based on further expansion of its non-retail sales channels, particularly in agricultural and leisure vehicles and an increasing demand for its range of GPS and GSM antennae. In the retail sales channel the business continues to experience weak consumer demand.
The home division has undergone a major restructuring in the past 12 months. There has been steady improvement in its underlying gross margins and the cost base is significantly reduced. However, it continues to find its core UK retail markets very tough with sales volumes below both last year and our expectation. Consequently, it has remained loss making in the first six months of the year and it is now not expected to return to profit until the 2013 financial year.
Overall, the trading performance of the Group continues to be adversely affected by the weak UK economic environment, particularly in the Group's core UK retail sales channels. Despite an anticipated boost to the UK consumer electronics market from the forthcoming London Olympics, consumer demand and confidence is expected to remain subdued with no significant improvement in the near term.
A considerable amount has already been achieved in sizing the Group for the reduced levels of consumer demand in our traditional markets and further work is ongoing in optimizing our cost base. Our product development program continues to deliver award winning, innovative products that have the potential to extend the Group's reach, targeting new markets less reliant on retail demand. We are increasing our investment in developing our international business to reduce our reliance on the UK markets that we currently serve. The Board believes that the overall strategy being pursued by the Group is the correct one and it is making progress on its return to profitability. However, the Board acknowledges that the return to operational profitability is taking longer than originally anticipated and does not expect this to happen before the 2013 financial year. In the year to 31 August 2012 the Board now believes that it will report a loss before interest, taxation and exceptional costs, but a smaller loss than reported last year.
A full trading update will be given with the interim announcement which is expected to be made in late May.
2 May 2012
Armour Group PLC Tel: 01892 502700
FinnCap Tel: 020 7220 0500
Geoff Nash/Ben Thompson
Stephen Norcross (broking)
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