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600 Group PLC (SIXH)

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Wednesday 06 September, 2006

600 Group PLC

AGM Statement

600 Group PLC
06 September 2006


                                                               06 September 2006

                               The 600 Group PLC

                      CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT TO THE 2006 AGM


As anticipated in the announcement of the Group's preliminary results in June,
our UK and USA machine tool markets continued the positive trends seen at the
end of last year while western European markets showed some signs of recovery.


The Group's total underlying order intake in the first five periods was
significantly up on last year, with improvements in most geographic regions. Our
outstanding order book is now substantially higher than last year due
principally to the major contracts to supply Mitsui Seiki machines to the UK
aerospace industry scheduled for delivery in the second half of the year.


Since the year-end, our efforts have continued to be focussed on the execution
of the strategic plan outlined by Andrew Dick in our Annual Report.  Notable
events during the last few months include:-

Machine Tools

-   the appointment of a new head of our North American machine tool operations 
    who joined us at the end of June

-   the appointment of a new General Manager for our European machine tool 
    operations who will join us next January

-   the implementation of an improved sales and marketing plan for machine
    tools in the UK

-   the establishment of additional sub-contract capacity for lathes, with
    deliveries due towards the end of the year

Laser Marking

-   the appointment of a high calibre sales and marketing Vice President for the 
    US to spearhead our aggressive growth strategy

-   the establishment of an additional sales office in the USA for Electrox 
    laser markers

-   the launch of a new generation of fibre lasers at the major bi-annual 
    machine tool fair in Chicago


During the second half of the year, we shall be continuing the development and
implementation of our new international sales and marketing initiatives, coupled
with the introduction of new and updated laser markers and lathes.


I would now like to spend a few minutes to tell you about Board changes, both
actual and potential.


Our Group Finance Director, John Fussey, will be retiring on 20 December of this
year after 13 years with the Group.  On behalf of the board I would like to
express my thanks for John's excellent contribution and support over the years
and wish him well for his retirement.


I am pleased also to announce that Martyn Wakeman will be joining the board on 2
 October to take over John's duties when he retires.  Martyn is an FCA and was
most recently the Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Managing Director of Assa
Abloy (UK) Limited, the British subsidiary of the Swedish quoted security
company.  Prior to that role Martyn had senior financial and operational roles
with Williams PLC and Teleflex Incorporated, the US quoted corporation operating
in the aerospace, medical and automotive markets.


I have now been Chairman for almost 14 years and it had been my intention to
stand down some time ago. However, I wanted to ensure that there was a smooth
transition from Tony Sweeten to Andrew Dick as Group Chief Executive.  I am
happy to say that this has now been accomplished and therefore I have asked my
fellow directors to start the process of appointing my successor with the
intention that I should retire from the board on the appointment of my successor
as Chairman.

                                     -ENDS-


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