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Friday 16 May, 2003


AGM Statement

16 May 2003

16 May 2003

                         IMI PLC Annual General Meeting
                              Chairman's Statement

IMI plc, the major international engineering Group, is holding its 2003 Annual
General Meeting at 12 noon today. At the meeting Gary Allen, Chairman, will

'It was pleasing to be able to report that 2002 was a year of good progress both
operationally and strategically. Against a backdrop of an increasingly uncertain
economic outlook we pressed ahead into the second year of our restructuring
programme and continued to reshape our portfolio of businesses.

Group sales in continuing businesses were £1463m (2001: £1419m) including £55m
from acquisitions.  In continuing businesses on a like for like basis, new
products and market share gains limited volume reductions in the first half to
less than 2% while volumes in the second half were slightly ahead of last year.

Profit before rationalisation and restructuring costs, goodwill amortisation and
exceptional items increased by over 4% to £131.5m compared with £126.1m last

Rationalisation and restructuring costs charged against profit were £32.2m
(2001: £44.6m), making a total of £76.8m for the full two years of our
restructuring programme, in line with our previous indications. The benefits
from the restructuring and cost reduction are now showing through in most areas
with operating profit and margins improving.

During the year we spent £47m on the acquisitions of STI (Severe Service) and
DCI Marketing (Merchandising Systems). Since the year end we have added further
to Severe Service with the acquisition of Fluid Kinetics, and increased our
investment in Indoor Climate with the acquisition of Commtech in the UK, at a
combined cost of around £15m.

Significant activity on the disposal front saw us divest all the remaining
copper businesses with the sale of Copper Fittings and Copper Tube for a total
of £78m. We also sold the small Eley shotgun cartridge business.

In late December the sale of the Witton site was completed and we relocated our
headquarters to the Birmingham Business Park in April 2003.

We have maintained focus on cash throughout the last two years of restructuring
and repositioning of IMI. Strong operational cash flow performance and
controlled corporate activity has reduced borrowings from £403m at the end of
2000 to £174m at 31 December 2002.

The interim dividend paid in October 2001 was maintained at 6.0p and the Board
is recommending the payment of an unchanged final dividend of 9.5p, making a
total of 15.5p for the year.

Two years into our repositioning we stand in good shape.  Much of the portfolio
change has been completed and we are focused around a smaller number of higher
added value businesses; our operational cost base has been materially reduced
and our balance sheet has been significantly strengthened.

In the current year to date, trading volumes overall have been steady at similar
levels to the early months of last year.  Fluid Controls is making encouraging
progress, particularly in Fluid Power where the cost benefits arising from the
restructuring programme are showing through.  In Retail Dispense, as expected,
sales are lower in Beverage Dispense where 2002 enjoyed the benefit of the
one-off contract for frozen carbonated beverage equipment and trading generally
is subdued.  DCI, acquired in August 2002, continued its pleasing start within
Merchandising Systems.  The Building Products businesses generally remain

As is our usual practice, it is our intention to issue a trading update on 30
June in which we will comment in more detail on current trading.

Our view on the outlook for this year remains as it was at the time of our
preliminary results announcement in March.  With general economic conditions yet
to show any significant improvement, 2003 will again present a challenging
environment.  However, the solid foundation we have been laying for the past two
years should enable us to continue our progress'.

                                    - End -

For further information contact:

IMI plc
Graham Truscott, Communications Director                 Tel: 0121 717 3712

Weber Shandwick Square Mile
Nick Oborne                                              Tel: 020 7067 0700

Information about IMI plc can be found on the website:

Note to Editors:

IMI plc is a dynamic international engineering business specialising in
innovative solutions and services for a wide range of industrial and retail
customers.  Its future growth is being built on the two business areas of Fluid
Controls and Retail Dispense.

IMI's operations in these two business areas share the following core
characteristics: strong market positions in growing markets; the ability to be
clearly differentiated from their competitors through technological innovation
or after-sales service; and the provision of 'added value' through bespoke
solutions rather than a high manufacturing or material content.

IMI is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and is capitalised at approximately
£1,032 million.

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