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Thursday 23 September, 2004


Interim Results

23 September 2004

Embargoed until 07.00                                          23 September 2004

                                  UCM Group PLC

              Interim Results for the Six Months Ended 30 June 2004

UCM, the leading provider of speciality fused minerals, today announces its
interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2004.

Financial Highlights

                                    Six Months Ended          Six Months Ended                               
£ Millions                              30 June 2004              30 June 2003

Turnover                                       17.05                     16.45
Profit before tax                               1.31                      0.81
Earnings per share                              3.9p                      2.3p
Interim dividend                                2.0p                      2.0p

Key Highlights

   •Sales and profits up - a reversal of previous downward trend
   •Organisational changes completed with the new structure giving renewed
    energy and focus to the company's strengths
   •Improved sales of magnesia products - both European and North American
    plants performed well
   •Standard zirconia production up as demand from steel industry continues
    at improved level
   •Sales of advanced ceramic materials also improved, with further
    penetration into the automotive market

John Gordon, Chairman, said:

'I am pleased to report that we have seen an improvement in our performance in
the first half. At the beginning of the year, our priorities for 2004 were to
optimise manufacturing, after two years of investment, and increase sales. The
former goal is well on the way to being achieved, and we are continuing to work
hard to drive sales forward. '

                                    - Ends -
UCM Group PLC                                         (On the day) 020 7067 0700
John Gordon, Chairman                                  (Thereafter) 01785 223122
Jamie Brundell, Chief Executive
Melvyn Fookes, Group Finance Director

Weber Shandwick Square Mile                                        020 7067 0700
Terry Garrett or Alex White or Stephanie Badjonat

Embargoed until 07.00                                          23 September 2004
                                  UCM Group PLC

              Interim Results for the Six Months Ended 30 June 2004

Chairman's Statement

The first six months of 2004 have seen an improvement in both sales and profits
from the comparative period in 2003, reversing the downward trend of previous
years. Profit before taxation for the six months ended 30th June 2004 amounted
to £1,309,000 (2003: £806,000) on turnover of £17,052,000 (2003: £16,446,000).
Fully diluted earnings per share for the period were 3.9p (2003: 2.3p).

Organisational Changes

In February 2004 Bob Hughes stepped down as Chief Executive of the Group and
Jamie Brundell was appointed in his place.

Jamie Brundell has put in place a new organisational structure and redefined
management responsibilities. Bob Hughes heads the zirconia division which
consists of our plants in Greeneville, Tennessee in the US and Stafford in the
UK. Graham Dughan is now responsible for the magnesia division, consisting of
the operations at Hull in the UK and Muscle Shoals Minerals Inc., Alabama in the
US. Walter Johnson is now in charge of our operations in China.

This new structure gives renewed energy and focus to the company's strengths.

The Board is delighted to welcome Jamie Brundell to the UCM team and also wishes
to record its appreciation of Bob Hughes' outstanding contribution to the Group
over many years, not least his effective handling of the succession to his own
post and his active commitment to the success of the new structure.


The Directors have decided to pay a maintained interim dividend of 2.0p per
share (2003: 2.0p).


Sales of magnesia products, principally for the domestic and industrial
appliance sector, have improved in the period. Both the Group's European and
North American plants have performed well, with a particularly notable
improvement being achieved at Muscle Shoals. Prospects for growth in the Asian
market remain good. However sales of magnesia products from our venture in China
continue to be below expectations, with trading conditions difficult.

Production of standard zirconia products has increased over the period as the
problems involved in commissioning the new furnace at Greeneville have been
progressively overcome. Demand from the steel industry for zirconia products has
continued at an improved level.

Sales of advanced ceramic materials have also improved compared to the first
half of 2003, with further penetration into the automotive market.


The Group's priorities for 2004 are to optimise manufacturing and to increase
sales. In the second quarter there was clear evidence of progress within
manufacturing and the second half of 2004 should benefit from this. The
challenge for UCM in the remainder of 2004 is to continue to grow sales in a
number of different markets, most of which, especially in Asia, remain very

John Gordon

22nd September 2004

                                    - Ends -

UCM Group PLC                                         (On the day) 020 7067 0700
John Gordon, Chairman                                  (Thereafter) 01785 223122
Jamie Brundell, Chief Executive
Melvyn Fookes, Group Finance Director

Weber Shandwick Square Mile                                        020 7067 0700
Terry Garrett or Alex White or Stephanie Badjonat

Consolidated Profit and Loss Account
for the six months ended 30th June 2004

                                       Unaudited       Unaudited             Audited
                                      Six Months      Six Months                Year
                                           Ended           Ended               Ended
                                  30th June 2004  30th June 2003  31st December 2003
                                          £'000s          £'000s              £'000s

Continuing operations                      17052           16446               31956
                                         _______         _______             _______
Operating profit                            
Continuing operations                       1564            1036                1712
(including exceptional costs of Nil;
- period ended 30th June 2003 £351,000
- year ended 31 December 2003 £572,000)
Net interest payable                       (255)           (230)               (471)
                                         _______         _______             _______
Profit on ordinary activities                            
 before taxation                            1309             806                1241
Taxation                                   (385)           (260)               (379)
                                         _______         _______             _______
Profit on ordinary activities                             
 after taxation                              924             546                 862
Dividends                                   (474)           (479)             (1077)
                                         _______         _______             _______
Retained profit                              450              67               (215)
                                         _______         _______             _______
Earnings per ordinary share (pence)         
Basic and fully diluted                      3.9             2.3                 3.6
                                         _______         _______             _______
Before exceptional items                                        
Basic and fully diluted                      3.9             3.3                 5.3           
                                         _______         _______             _______

Earnings per share for the period have been calculated on profits after taxation
divided by 23932373 being the weighted average number of ordinary shares of 5p
each in issue during the period - (2003 half year weighted average 23931628,
2003 full year weighted average 23932373).

Consolidated Balance Sheet
as at 30th June 2004

                                         Unaudited   Unaudited         Audited
                                         30th June   30th June   31st December
                                              2004        2003            2003
                                            £'000s      £'000s          £'000s

Fixed assets                                   
 Intangible assets                             491         362             545
 Tangible assets                             15880       17056           16359
                                           _______     _______         _______
                                             16371       17418           16904
                                           _______     _______         _______

Current assets       
 Stock                                        7376        8423            7556             
 Debtors                                      7092        6878            6455                        
 Cash                                          488         269             130                      
                                           _______     _______         _______
                                             14956       15570           14141

 Amounts falling due within one year       (14155)     (13853)         (13546)
                                           _______     _______         _______
Net current assets                             801        1717             595
                                           _______     _______         _______

Total assets less current liabilities        17172       19135           17499

 Amounts falling due after more than 
 one year                                    (723)      (1011)           (825)

Provisions for liabilities and charges       (1253)      (1664)          (1403)
                                           _______     _______         _______
Net assets                                   15196       16460           15271
                                           _______     _______         _______

Share capital and reserves                  
 Share capital                                1196        1196            1196         
 Share premium                                8402        8402            8402   
 Capital redemption reserve                    218         218             218     
 Revaluation reserve                          1650        1757            1689       
 Profit and loss account                      3730        4887            3766           
                                           _______     _______         _______
Shareholders' funds - equity                 15196       16460           15271
                                           _______     _______         _______

Consolidated Cash Flow Statement
for the six months ended 30th June 2004

                         Unaudited six        Unaudited six         Audited Year
                          months ended         months ended                ended
                        30th June 2004       30th June 2003   31st December 2003
                                £'000s               £'000s               £'000s

Net cash inflow from
 operating activities             1657                 1548                 2777
                               _______              _______              _______
Returns on investments and 
 servicing of finance            (255)                (235)                (470)
                               _______              _______              _______
Taxation                         (196)                (323)                (474)
                               _______              _______              _______
Capital expenditure              (450)                (938)               (1808)
                               _______              _______              _______
Equity dividends paid            (593)               (1197)               (1676)
                               _______              _______              _______
Cash inflow/(outflow) 
 before financing                  163                (1145)              (1651)
                               _______              _______              _______
Issue of share capital               -                    3                    3
Repayment of amounts borrowed    (156)                (146)                (293)
Short term borrowings              295                 1199                 2019
New loans                           74                    -                    -
                               _______              _______              _______
                                   213                 1056                 1729
                               _______              _______              _______
Increase/(decrease) in
 cash in the period                376                  (89)                  78
                               _______              _______              _______

Reconciliation of Net Cash Flow to Movement in Net Debt

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

Increase/(decrease) in cash 
 in the period                     376                 (89)                   78

Net cash flow from (increase) 
 in bank loans due within 
 one year                        (295)               (1199)               (2019)

Net cash flow from decrease in 
 other debt due within one year    156                  146                  293

Net cash flow from (increase) in 
 net debt due in more than 
 one year                         (74)                    -                    -
                               _______              _______              _______

Change in net debt resulting 
 from cash flows                   163               (1142)               (1648)

Currency translation adjustments    62                   52                  325
                               _______              _______              _______

Movement in net debt               225               (1090)               (1323)

Net debt at beginning 
 of period                     (10469)               (9146)               (9146)
                               _______              _______              _______

Net debt at end of period      (10244)              (10236)              (10469)
                               _______              _______              _______


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 2003 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 2004      30th June 2003  31st December 2003
                                  £'000s              £'000s              £'000s

    Turnover by Destination

    United Kingdom                  1240                1425                2851

    North America                   4932                4689                8940

    Continental Europe              7161                6872               12852

    Asia                            3126                2786                5981

    Central & South America          284                 274                 591

    Rest of World                    309                 400                 741
                                 _______             _______             _______

                                   17052               16446               31956
                                 _______             _______             _______

    Turnover by Market

    Domestic & Industrial
     Appliances                     9332                9259               17779

    Steelmaking                     3197                3098                6009

    Automotive                      3368                2543                5554

    Investment Casting                21                  24                  38

    Engineered Ceramics              480                 632                 944

    Other Industrials                654                 890                1632
                                 _______             _______             _______

                                   17052               16446               31956
                                 _______             _______             _______

3. Movement in Shareholders' Funds
                          Share       Share    redemption   Revaluation   Profit & loss   
                        capital     premium       reserve       reserve         account     Total
                         £'000s      £'000s        £'000s        £'000s          £'000s     £000s

At the beginning of
 the period                1196        8402           218          1689            3766     15271

Profit for the period         -          -              -             -             924       924

Interim dividend              -          -              -             -           (474)     (474)

Currency translation
 adjustment                   -          -              -           (6)           (111)     (117)

Transfer from revaluation
 reserve                      -          -              -          (33)              33        -

Funding of share
 participation scheme         -          -              -             -           (408)     (408)
                         _______    _______        _______       _______        _______   _______
At end of period           1196       8402            218          1650            3730     15196
                         _______    _______        _______       _______        _______   _______

4. Dividends

The dividend for the period represents an interim dividend of 2.0p per ordinary
5p share and will be payable on 14th October 2004 to those shareholders listed
on the register as at 1st October 2004.

Dividends due in the sum of £5000 were waived in the period leaving a net charge
to the profit and loss account of £474000.

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 Tuesday 5th
October 2004 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 2004.

KPMG Audit Plc
Chartered Accountants

22nd September 2004

                      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