Armour Group plc, the UK's leading consumer electronics group focused on the in-car communication and entertainment and home entertainment markets is holding its Annual General Meeting at 12.00 today.
George Dexter, Chief Executive, will be make the following statement: "The start of the new financial year has remained challenging in terms of sales in the core consumer facing markets served by the Group. However, the actions taken by the Board in the last nine months to lower the cost base, improve gross margin performance and focus activities on the core brands has meant that the operating result for the Group is much improved on the prior year.
Armour Home, which has felt the full force of the consumer slowdown, has made good progress following its re-organisation last year. The lower operating cost base combined with improving margins and the launch of new products has significantly offset the impact of falling sales volumes. Our expectation is that the Home division will return to a profit in the second half of the year.
Armour Automotive has continued where it left off in 2011 with further out-performance against both our expectations and the prior year. Strong demand in the non-retail sales channels of commercial and leisure vehicles and GPS/GSM antennae has delivered good year on year growth in both sales and operating profits. The impending launch of two significant new products combined with a growing order book within our non-retail customer base supports our view that Armour Automotive will deliver above average year on year growth in 2012.
The economic outlook continues to be uncertain and our expectation is that there will be little change in the conditions in our core consumer facing markets for the rest of 2012. However, the Group's trading performance is improving and our initiatives with regard to cost control, margin improvement and brand focus are all working and delivering meaningful results. Against this backdrop, the Board continues to believe that the Group is well positioned to take advantage of any consumer recovery as and when it comes."