UK directors’ report, activities in the field of research and development

Avon Rubber p.l.c. – Annual report – 30 September 2020

Industry: manufacturing

Directors’ Report (extract)

Research and development

The Group continues to utilise its technical and materials expertise to remain at the forefront of innovative technology and produce specialist products and services to maximise the performance and capabilities of its customers. The Group maintains its links to key universities in the U.S. and U.K. and continues to work with new and existing customers and suppliers to develop its knowledge and product range. Total Group expenditure on research and development in the year was £9.0m (2019: £7.3m) further details of which are contained in the Strategic Report on page 33.

Strategic Report (extract 1)

Chief Executive Officer’s Review (extract)

Selective product development

Continued investment to maintain our innovative technology leadership position

We have continued to invest in the year to maintain our innovative technology leadership position across our existing portfolio as well as focusing on developing the next generation of new products that will deliver future growth for the business. We continue to ensure our development pipeline is designed in partnership with our customers to ensure that their exacting performance requirements are met whilst ensuring we have a committed and commercial route to market to maximise our return on investment.

During the year we have made a significant investment in our respiratory protection portfolio through the next generation of supplied air products and the next generation hoods programme, continuing to develop our filter technology and ramping up production on the U.K. GSR and MCM100, following a full dive test with the U.S. Navy. In our ballistic protection portfolio, development expenditure has been focused on continuing the investment in our next generation IHPS and VTP body armor programmes ahead of the expected first deliveries in 2021.

In 2020, we invested a total of £9.0m (2019: £7.3m), representing 5.4% of revenue (2019: 5.7%), in research and development. We expect to continue to invest at this level over the medium-term, reflecting our confidence in our expanded research and development capability to innovate across our broader personal protection portfolio to meet more of the integrated future technical needs of our customers for the benefit of further revenue and profit growth.

Strategic Report (extract 2)

Financial Review (extract)

Research and development expenditure

We continue to invest for the future and our total investment in research and development (capitalised and expensed) amounted to £9.0m (2019: £7.3m) as shown below. Total research and development as a percentage of revenue was 5.4% (2019: 5.7%).

1 2019 has been restated to reflect the continuing operations of the Group following the divestment of milkrite | InterPuls on 25 September 2020.

In the respiratory protection product portfolio, the most significant investments have been in the development of our next generation of supplied air and escape hoods products, further development of our filter technology, ramping up production on the U.K. GSR programme and ongoing improvements in the capabilities of the MCM100 underwater rebreather following a full dive test programme with the U.S. Navy.

In Helmets & Armor, investment expenditure has been focused on continuing the development of the next generation IHPS helmet and VTP body armor programmes ahead of first deliveries expected in the 2021 financial year.