Universe Group PLC
25 April 2002
UNIVERSE GROUP PLC
25 April 2002
UNIVERSE GROUP PLC ('UNIVERSE' OR 'THE COMPANY')
AGM STATEMENT AND APPOINTMENT OF NEW DIRECTOR
Ray Mackie, Chairman of Universe Group plc will tell shareholders at the AGM
'After a difficult opening quarter, I am pleased to report that we are seeing
encouraging signs of improvement. The Group is demonstrating considerable
resilience and we remain confident for the future.
In the first three months of 2002 we suffered in three respects:
1. The business downturn after September 11th, coupled with the problems of
the telecoms industry, had a negative effect on orders and production at HTEC.
2. Although we were well aware that the introduction of the Euro would
affect business at Master Change, it is the sharp fall in tourist traffic from
the US that has had the greater impact.
3. Progress at First Remit has been positive but slow, and this subsidiary
continues to operate at a modest loss.
All of these matters will be reflected in the results for the first half year to
30th June 2002.
By contrast, I can report that HTEC's current order books are improving both in
volume and quality; and in the second half we will benefit from the introduction
of a number of new products.
Master Change is moving towards its peak period. The new shop in Antwerp, whose
opening we delayed for a while, will soon be operational, and we are pressing on
with plans to open two more outlets in London's West End.
Transactions at First Remit are gradually increasing in number. We are open for
business in the UK and Belgium into India, Sri Lanka and Kenya and are awaiting
licences in several other countries.
All in all, I believe that we shall give a good account of ourselves for the
year as a whole.
I am delighted to announce that Keith Buchanan has agreed to join the Board as a
non-executive director. I am sure we will benefit greatly from his experience
For Further Information:
Universe Group plc
Ray Mackie, Executive Chairman 020 7486 9074
Teather & Greenwood Limited
Russell Cook 020 7426 9000
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Universe Group operates in the electronics field through HTEC, as a bureau de
change business through Master Change and an international money transfer
business through First Remit. Details are:
HTEC operates in the UK and Europe in the loyalty and payment systems field,
principally in the petrol forecourt area and in contract manufacturing for the
Master Change operates bureaux de change principally in France and also in the
UK, Belgium and Austria.
First Remit transfers money over the Internet to bank branches in India, Kenya
and Sri Lanka from agents in the UK. Licences are currently being sought in
other important send and destination countries.
Keith Michael Buchanan is a Chartered Accountant, aged 48. He qualified with
KPMG and his post qualification career has been spent in the insurance, food and
furniture industries. He was Group Finance Director of Premier International
Foods plc from 1998 to 2002.
Save as disclosed above there are no further matters to be disclosed in relation
to Schedule 2, paragraph (f) of the AIM Rules.
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange