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Universe Grp. (UNG)

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Wednesday 19 April, 2000

Universe Grp.

Chairman's Statement

Universe Group PLC
19 April 2000


                     UNIVERSE GROUP PLC
                              
                        AGM STATEMENT
                        BOARD CHANGE
                              
At the AGM held at 10.30am today Ray Mackie, Executive
Chairman of Universe Group, the retail and information
systems company, will tell shareholders:

     'Following the demerger of our former payment card
     fraud prevention businesses and the sale of the Inter-
     Clear business to De La Rue on 20 March 2000, the year
     has started well for the Universe Group.
     
     HTEC put in a good first quarter in line with
     directors' expectations.
     
     Master Change is continuing to expand into Europe with
     the announcement of three new high profile branches in
     February and several more currently being negotiated.
     The three we have opened are performing above our
     expectations and at the end of the first quarter Master
     Change is well ahead of the same period last year.
     
     Following the demerger we resolved to operate with a
     low cost head office organisation.  We have been
     successful in this.
     
     As envisaged at the time of the demerger, Nigel
     Whittaker will stand down as a non-executive director
     at the conclusion of this meeting.  Having been
     Chairman of CardCast in 1996, Nigel became Chairman on
     its merger with Card Clear at the end of that year.
     Nigel was Chairman throughout 1997, 1998 and 1999 and
     the rest of the Board have expressed their thanks for
     his leadership in guiding the company through some
     difficult times to a successful conclusion.
     
     Nigel will be replaced by George Welham, Deputy
     Chairman of Financial Dynamics Limited, as a non-
     executive director and we are looking forward to
     working with George during the next phase of the
     company's development.'



Contacts:
Ray Mackie, Chairman, Universe Group plc
020 7 486 9074
Richard Oldworth / Catherine Miles, Buchanan Communications
020 7 466 5000