MELKSHAM, England (Jan. 28)—Efficiency improvements have helped Avon Rubber P.L.C. meet expectations of earnings growth during its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 30. Gains were achieved in all divisions despite steep rises in insurance and pension costs, said Chairman Steve Willcox. Sales reached levels similar to last year's first quarter, helped by increased work for an automotive customer in North America, which offset negative currency factors, Willcox said. Looking ahead, Willcox said operational gains should enable the company to make further progress despite expected softness in some markets. The improvement also will provide capacity for increased sales later in the year, he added. Avon's markets remain challenging with an uncertain outlook for automotive sales in Europe and North America, Willcox said.
Avon Rubber meets first-quarter expectations
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