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UCM Group PLC (UCM)

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Friday 10 January, 2003

UCM Group PLC

Consolidation of Production

UCM Group PLC
10 January 2003


10th January 2003

                                 UCM Group PLC

  Standard Zirconia production to be consolidated in the US at the Group's new
                            facilities in Tennessee


UCM Group PLC ('UCM') a leading global supplier of industrial ceramics, is to
consolidate all standard zirconia production at the expanded facilities of its
subsidiary Universal America Inc ('UAI') in Tennessee.  Standard zirconia is
principally used in the manufacture of high integrity refractory products, which
are used in the production of steel.


In 2001 UCM commenced an investment programme at UAI that will treble its
capacity and also give UCM the ability to produce finished product from this
plant.  Now that this investment is close to a successful completion, all
zirconia production is to be centred at this facility, giving UCM the ability to
take advantage of production efficiencies in the new plant, utilising the unique
production processes developed since UAI's acquisition.  The transfer of
production will be phased throughout the first half of 2003.


This move will result in redundancies at Unitec Ceramics Limited, UCM's
subsidiary in Stafford, which will be a charge to the current year profits of
approximately £300,000. In addition there will be a charge to the profits for
the year ended 31st December 2002 of approximately £475,000 being attributable
to the write down of buildings, plant and machinery and stocks. The total charge
against profits will therefore be approximately £775,000 with the cash impact
being approximately £300,000.


These actions will result in UCM being able to reduce its cost base
significantly in difficult global markets.


Unitec Ceramics Limited will become totally focused on the production of
advanced ceramic materials at its recently expanded Stafford plant.  Such
materials are used in the engineered ceramics and automotive industries.



                                    - ends -


Enquiries:


UCM Group PLC                                                       01785 223122
Bob Hughes, Chief Executive
Melvyn Fookes, Group Finance Director

Weber Shandwick Square Mile                                        020 7067 0700
Terry Garrett or Alex White or Rachel Taylor




                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange