25 April 2002
CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT AT TODAY'S ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
At today's Annual General Meeting, Jonathan Fry, Chairman of Elementis plc
'As indicated in our 2001 Preliminary Results announcement at the end of
February, we have two clear priorities; first a continuing focus on the
short-term trading position and secondly taking steps to enable the Group to
'Early indications are that we are making progress in our drive to manage the
short-term trading position. All areas of cost, capital expenditure and
inventory management continue to be tightly controlled. Energy costs reduced
compared to the first quarter of 2001. Inventory levels are now below those at
the 2001 year end and significantly below those at the same point last year.
Benefits from ongoing business improvement projects, including Six Sigma which
is targeted at further reducing costs, have been evident and should increase as
the year progresses.
'As expected, sales on continuing operations in the first three months of the
year declined 7 per cent compared with the equivalent period last year and
there is little evidence of demand growth to date. However, encouragingly,
customer destocking, experienced particularly in the last quarter of 2001,
appears to have ended.
'Looking to the Group's future growth, strategic programmes addressing
opportunities for step change financial performance improvement are underway in
each of the businesses.
'As previously announced, Brian Taylorson was appointed to the Board as Finance
Director earlier this month having joined Elementis in December 2001 as
Director of Corporate Finance.
'In line with current best practice, a pre-closed period trading update will be
made ahead of the Group's interim results announcement for the six months
ending 30 June 2002.'
- Ends -
Elementis 01784 224212
Geoff Gaywood Chief Executive
Brian Taylorson Finance Director
Anna Passey Head of Corporate Communications
Brunswick 020 7404 5959