Melksham’s Avon Rubber PLC has announced a positive start to the year, in their first quarterly statement of 2013.

The firm, which produces rubber items for the defence and dairy industries, has enjoyed a stronger first quarter performance this year after the £14.7m Middle Eastern order announced in May.

The quarterly results were released today following its AGM, when former Chippenham MP and Northern Ireland minister Richard Needham also stood down as a director.

It has experienced stronger US sales to the homeland security and emergency service markets, and claims to be well-positioned to deal with upcoming US defence cuts.

The firm also released its latest product this quarter, the PC50 air purifying respirator, targeted specifically at American prisons, which is expected to produce further growth.

In the dairy sector Avon has continued to grow in the Chinese market, despite lower milk prices and higher food costs reducing revenues for farmers across the globe.

Despite challenging conditions provided by the uncertain economic and political environment, the board is confident of meeting full-year market expectations, and is anticipating meeting all its annual profit expectations.

The Group will announce its results for the half year to 31 March 2013 on Wednesday 1st May 2013.