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Thursday 25 September, 2003


Interim Results

25 September 2003

Embargoed until 07.00                                          25 September 2003
                                  UCM Group PLC

              Interim Results for the Six Months Ended 30 June 2003

UCM, the leading provider of speciality fused minerals, today announces its
interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2003.

Financial Highlights

                                                   Six Months       Six Months
                                                        Ended            Ended
£ Millions                                       30 June 2003     30 June 2002

Turnover                                                16.45            17.62
Profit before tax - before exceptional items             1.16             1.85
Profit before tax - after exceptional items              0.81             1.85
Interim dividend                                         2.0p             2.5p

Key Highlights

   • A disappointing half year with markets remaining difficult

   • Delay in completing reorganisation and investment programme with
     benefits not being seen until second half of 2003

   • Good grounds for believing that, by the end of the year, margins should
     have recovered from levels of the first six months of 2003

John Gordon, Chairman, said: 'Whilst a disappointing period both for sales and
profits there are good grounds for believing that by the end of the year margins
should have recovered from the levels of the first six months of 2003.

'We can look forward to improved management effectiveness and further cost
savings with the completion of the strategic rationalisation programme before
the year end.'

                                    - Ends -
UCM Group PLC                                         (On the day) 020 7067 0700                 
John Gordon, Chairman                                 (Thereafter)  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

                                  UCM Group PLC

                 Interim Results for the Year Ended 30 June 2003

UCM, the leading provider of speciality fused minerals, today announces its
preliminary results for the year ended 30 June 2003.

Chairman's Statement

This has been a disappointing half year both for sales, where markets remain
difficult, and for profits, where the cost savings anticipated from the
reorganisation and investment programme have not yet been realised. Profit
before taxation for the six months ended 30th June 2003 amounted to £806,000 and
before exceptional costs was £1,157,000 (2002: £1,852,000) on turnover of
£16,446,000 (2002: £17,624,000). Fully diluted earnings per share for the period
were 2.3p (2002: 5.4p) after exceptional costs.


The Directors have decided to restrict the interim dividend to 2.0p per share
(2002: 2.5p), which is within distributable earnings for the period. The
Directors believe it is prudent to stay within this criterion at the interim


Sales of magnesia products, principally for the domestic and industrial
appliance sector, have declined in the period. While the European and North
American markets remain difficult, sales into the Asian market from our plant in
the United States have fallen significantly and have not yet been replaced by
sales from our venture in China.

Sales of standard zirconia products, mainly for the steel industry, have
recovered from the depressed levels of the same period last year although
margins are not as good, partly owing to the delay in transferring the zirconia
finishing operation from Unitec Ceramics Limited to the United States.
Exceptional costs of £351,000 have been provided in the period relating to this

Sales of advanced ceramic materials were only slightly below those of the first
half of 2002, with continuing sales growth in micronised monoclinic zirconia for
use in brake pads being offset by a fall in sales to the oxygen sensor sector.

Strategic Expansion

The major disappointment in the half year has been the delay in completing the
Group's strategic rationalisation programme. The venture in China for the
production of magnesia for the Asian market was expected to be selling in
commercial quantities in the period, but, partly owing to the outbreak of SARS
in China which prevented the direct involvement of staff from the United States,
this is only now beginning. Production difficulties in the United States have
delayed the transfer of zirconia finishing operations from the United Kingdom to
Universal America Inc., Tennessee. Action has been taken to improve management
effectiveness in these areas, but the cost savings anticipated from the
reorganisation will not now be available until well into the second half of this


Although there continues to be no sign of a significant upturn in the major
markets served by the Group, the production problems and costs associated with
the reorganisation of the Group's facilities are nearly at an end. There are
therefore good grounds for believing that, by the end of the year, margins
should have recovered from the levels of the first six months of 2003.

John Gordon

24th September 2003

                                    - Ends -

Consolidated Profit and Loss Account
for the six months ended 30th June 2003

                                       Unaudited       Unaudited              Audited
                                      Six Months      Six Months                 Year
                                           Ended           Ended                Ended
                                   30th June 2003  30th June 2002  31st December 2002                     
                                          £'000s          £'000s               £'000s
 Continuing operations                     16446           17624                33713
                                         _______         _______              _______
Operating profit                            
 Continuing operations
(including exceptional costs of
 £351,000 - year ended 31 December 
 2002 £199,000)                             1036            2052                 3053
Net interest payable                        (230)           (200)                (435)
                                         _______         _______              _______

Profit on ordinary activities              
 before taxation                             806            1852                 2618
Taxation                                    (260)           (557)                (817)
                                         _______         _______              _______
Profit on ordinary 
 activities after taxation                   546            1295                 1801
Dividends                                   (479)           (598)               (1795)
                                         _______         _______              _______
Retained profit                               67             697                    6
                                         _______         _______              _______
Earnings per ordinary share                                   
 Basic and fully diluted                     2.3p            5.4p                 7.5p  
                                         _______         _______              _______           
Before exceptional items                                    
 Basic and fully diluted                     3.3p            5.4p                 8.1p
                                         _______         _______              _______

Earnings per share for the period have been calculated on profits after taxation
divided by 23931628 being the weighted average number of ordinary shares of 5p
each in issue during the period - (2002 half year and full year weighted average

Consolidated Balance Sheet
for the six months ended 30th June 2003

                                       Unaudited       Unaudited              Audited
                                   30th June 2003  30th June 2002  31st December 2002             
                                          £'000s          £'000s               £'000s

Fixed assets                                
 Intangible assets                           362             117                  404
 Tangible assets                           17056           15757                17244
                                         _______         _______              _______

                                           17418           15874                17648
                                         _______         _______              _______
Current assets
 Stock                                      8423            8242                 7768
 Debtors                                    6878            8158                 6942
 Cash                                        269             768                  145
                                         _______         _______              _______

                                           15570           17168                14855

 Amounts falling due within one year      (13853)         (12224)              (12882)
                                         _______         _______              _______
Net current assets                          1717            4944                 1973
                                         _______         _______              _______

Total assets less current liabilities      19135           20818                19621
 Amounts falling due after more
 than one year                             (1011)          (1054)               (1172)

Provisions for liabilities and charges     (1664)          (1744)               (1767)
                                         _______         _______              _______

Net assets                                 16460           18020                16682
                                         _______         _______              _______

Share capital and reserves
 Share capital                              1196            1196                 1196
 Share premium                              8402            8399                 8399
 Capital redemption  reserve                 218             218                  218
 Revaluation reserve                        1757            1864                 1802
 Profit and loss account                    4887            6343                 5067
                                         _______         _______              _______ 
Shareholders' funds                        
 Equity                                    16460           18020                16682
                                         _______         _______              _______

Consolidated Cash Flow Statement
for the six months ended 30th June 2003

                                      Unaudited        Unaudited             Audited 
                               Six months ended Six months ended          Year ended                
                                 30th June 2003   30th June 2002  31st December 2002 
                                         £'000s           £'000s              £'000s
Net cash inflow from
 operating activities                      1548             1795                4784
                                        _______          _______             _______
Returns on investments
 and servicing of finance                  (235)            (191)               (425)
                                        _______          _______             _______

Taxation                                   (323)            (383)               (800)
                                        _______          _______             _______

Capital expenditure                        (938)           (1529)              (4621)
                                        _______          _______             _______

Equity dividends paid                     (1197)           (1197)              (1795)
                                        _______          _______             _______
Cash outflow before
 financing                                (1145)           (1505)              (2857)
                                        _______          _______             _______
Issue of ordinary shares                      3                -                   -
Repayment of amounts borrowed              (146)            (107)               (231)
Short term borrowings                      1199              758                1477
New Loans                                     -              224                 532
                                        _______          _______             _______

                                           1056              875                1778
                                        _______          _______             _______

(Decrease) in cash in the period            (89)            (630)              (1079)
                                        _______          _______             _______
Reconciliation of Net Cash Flow to Movement in Net Debt

                                         £'000s           £'000s              £'000s

(Decrease) in cash in the period            (89)            (630)              (1079)

Net cash flow from (increase) in 
 bank loans due within one year           (1199)            (758)              (1477)

Net cash flow from decrease in 
 other debt due within one year             146              107                 231

Net cash flow from (increase) in 
 net debt due in more than one year           -             (224)               (532)
                                        _______          _______             _______

Change in net debt resulting from 
 cash flows                               (1142)           (1505)              (2857)

Currency translation adjustments             52              (19)                 44
                                        _______          _______             _______

Movement in net debt                      (1090)           (1524)              (2813)

Net debt at beginning of period           (9146)           (6333)              (6333)
                                        _______          _______             _______

Net debt at end of period                (10236)           (7857)              (9146)
                                        _______          _______             _______


1. Basis of Preparation

The foregoing do not constitute statutory accounts within the meaning of Section
240 of the Companies Act 1985. The comparative figures for the year ended 31
December 2002 are based upon the audited accounts of the Group which have been
delivered to the Registrar of Companies and on which the auditors gave an
unqualified audit opinion and did not contain a statement under Section 237 (2)
or (3) of the Companies Act 1985.

The half year accounts are prepared on the basis of the accounting policies set
out in the most recent set of financial statements.

2. Segmental Analysis

                               Unaudited           Unaudited             Audited
                        Six months ended    Six Months ended          Year ended  
                          30th June 2003      30th June 2002  31st December 2002
                                  £'000s              £'000s              £'000s

Turnover by Destination

United Kingdom                      1425                1682                2877

North America                       4689                4943                9852

Continental Europe                  6872                7221               13237

Asia                                2786                3034                6311

Central & South America              274                 296                 560

Rest of World                        400                 448                 876
                                 _______             _______             _______

                                   16446               17624               33713
                                 _______             _______             _______

Turnover by Market

Domestic & Industrial Appliances    9259               10567               19759 

Steelmaking                         3098                3117                5894

Automotive                          2543                2986                5830

Investment Casting                    24                  31                 (61)

Engineered Ceramics                  632                 388                 957

Other Industrials                    890                 535                1334
                                 _______             _______             _______

                                   16446               17624               33713
                                 _______             _______             _______

3. Movement in Shareholders' Funds

                                                       Capital                  Profit & loss  
                             Share       Share      redemption    Revaluation         account
                           capital     premium         reserve        reserve                     Total    
                            £'000s      £'000s          £'000s         £'000s          £'000s     £000s

At the beginning of
 the period                   1196        8399             218           1802            5067     16682

Profit for the period            -           -               -              -             546       546

Interim dividend                 -           -               -              -            (479)     (479)

Currency translation
 adjustment                      -           -               -            (10)           (282)     (292)

Transfer from revaluation
 reserve                         -           -               -            (35)             35         -

Issue of shares                  -           3               -              -               -         3
                           _______     _______          _______       _______         _______    ______

At end of period              1196        8402             218           1757            4887     16460
                           _______     _______          _______       _______         _______    ______

4. Dividends

The dividend charge for the period represents an interim dividend of 2.0p per
ordinary 5p share and will be payable on 16th October 2003 to those shareholders
listed on the register as at 3rd October 2003.

5. Taxation

Taxation has been provided at the estimated effective rate for the full year.

6. Distribution of interim results

Copies of the interim report will be posted to shareholders on Friday 3 October
2003 and will be available from the company's registered office at Doxey Road,
Stafford ST16 1DZ during normal business hours.

Independent review report by KPMG Audit Plc to UCM Group PLC


We have been engaged by the company to review the financial information set out
on pages 3 to 7 and we have read the other information contained in the interim
report and considered whether it contains any apparent misstatements or material
inconsistencies with the financial information.

This report is made solely to the company in accordance with the terms of our
engagement to assist the company in meeting the requirements of the Listing
Rules of the Financial Services Authority. Our review has been undertaken so
that we might state to the company those matters we are required to state to it
in this report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law,
we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the company for
our review work, for this report, or for the conclusions we have reached.

Directors' responsibilities

The interim report, including the financial information contained therein, is
the responsibility of, and has been approved by, the directors. The directors
are responsible for preparing the interim report in accordance with the Listing
Rules which require that the accounting policies and presentation applied to the
interim figures should be consistent with those applied in preparing the
preceding annual accounts except where they are to be changed in the next annual
accounts in which case any changes, and the reasons for them, are to be

Review work performed

We conducted our review in accordance with guidance contained in Bulletin 1999/
4: Review of interim financial information issued by the Auditing Practices
Board for use in the United Kingdom. A review consists principally of making
enquiries of group management and applying analytical procedures to the
financial information and underlying financial data and, based thereon,
assessing whether the accounting policies and presentation have been
consistently applied unless otherwise disclosed. A review is substantially less
in scope than an audit performed in accordance with Auditing Standards and
therefore provides a lower level of assurance than an audit. Accordingly we do
not express an audit opinion on the financial information.

Review conclusion

On the basis of our review we are not aware of any material modifications that
should be made to the financial information as presented for the six months
ended 30 June 2003.

KPMG Audit Plc
Chartered Accountants

24th September 2003

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

a d v e r t i s e m e n t