28 April 2005
28 April 2005
Chairman's Statement at Today's Annual General Meeting including Board Changes
At today's Annual General Meeting, Keith Hopkins, Chairman of Elementis plc
(LSE: ELM) said:
'Elementis has continued to make progress in line with expectations during the
first three months of 2005.
The increases in Chromium chemicals prices implemented in January were sustained
throughout the first quarter, and sales rose by 15 per cent in US Dollars
compared to the same period last year, on essentially flat volume. Further price
increases of up to 20 per cent have gone into effect in April, and additional
increases are planned for July. Variable costs have risen as anticipated and
global capacity rationalisation has continued.
In Specialties and Pigments sales were flat in US Dollars, with improved pricing
compensating for a relatively slow start to the US coatings season. As
previously announced, annualised synergy benefits of £3.5 million from the Servo
acquisition will start to come through in the second half of 2005. Start-up of
our new Pigments plant in TaiCang, China has proceeded as expected and
commercial sales have commenced.
Sales of Specialty Rubber products rose 7 per cent in US Dollars, reflecting
good demand in all major market sectors and regions.
As part of management's continued focus on cost control and as a result of
significant progress in resolving legacy issues and simplifying administration
processes, Elementis expects to reduce overhead costs by approximately £2
million annually during the second half of 2005, with the full benefit to be
felt in 2006. The one off costs associated with this action are expected to be
approximately £1 million and will be incurred in the current year.
While input cost inflation remains, particularly for energy and ocean freight,
our leadership in chromium chemicals, improvements at Servo and the cost
benefits of the TaiCang Pigments plant are all expected to drive improved
operating performance as the year progresses.'
'Michael Hartnall, who was appointed a director of the Company in 1993, has, in
line with best practice, decided to step down from the Board as senior
independent non executive director and Chairman of the Audit Committee following
the conclusion of the Annual General meeting of the Company today.
Chris Girling, who is finance director of Carillion plc, is to be appointed as a
non executive director and Chairman of the Audit Committee with effect from
tomorrow, 29 April 2005.
Edward Wilson, who has been a non executive director of the Company since 1999
and is Chairman of the Remuneration Committee is to replace Michael Hartnall as
the senior independent non executive director with effect from today.
Philip Brown, who has been the Secretary of the Company since 1992 and was
appointed to the Board in 2000, is to retire from the Company with effect from
30 June 2005.
I would like to thank Michael and Philip for the contributions they have made
during a long period of service which has seen the Company transformed from
Harrisons & Crosfield, a diversified conglomerate, to the speciality chemical
company which Elementis is today. I am particularly pleased that Philip has
agreed to stay on as the Chairman of the Trustees of the Elementis Group Pension
I am delighted to welcome Chris Girling to the Board. I have no doubt that the
Company will benefit from the strong financial management experience which Chris
will bring to the Board.'
Elementis +44 (0)1784 227000
Geoff Gaywood Chief Executive
Brian Taylorson Finance Director
Hilary Reid Evans Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Brunswick +44 (0)20 7404 5959
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange