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Thursday 31 March, 2005


Final Results

31 March 2005

Embargoed until 07.00                                              31 March 2005

                                  UCM Group PLC
            Preliminary Results for the Year Ended 31 December 2004

UCM, the leading provider of speciality fused minerals, today announces its
preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2004.

Financial Highlights

                                                  Year ended        Year ended
£ Millions                                     December 2004     December 2003

Turnover                                                32.8              32.0
Operating profit - after exceptional items               2.6               1.7
Profit before tax - after exceptional items              2.0               1.2

Earnings per share - after exceptional items             5.7p              3.6p
Total dividend per share                                 4.5p              4.5p

Key Highlights

   •Results in line with November's Trading Update with both sales and
    profits staging a recovery
   •Sales of Zirconia for the steelmaking and automotive sectors up
   •Sales of magnesia products were disappointing in the second half after a
    good interim period
   •Cash inflow before financing was £169,000 (2003: Outflow £1.7m)
   •Net debt lower at £10.1m (2003: £10.5m) and gearing of 62.8% (2003:

John Gordon, Chairman, commented:

'We have staged a useful recovery in 2004, which reversed a 3 year downward
trend in operating profit, although, as we indicated last November, the degree
of improvement we had been anticipating earlier in the year was undermined by a
number of factors. Looking forward, the market is undoubtedly competitive and
the Board is determined to maintain progress in 2005.'

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

Extract from Chairman's Statement

The Group produced a useful recovery in both sales and profits during 2004 but,
as indicated in last November's Trading Update, the extent of the recovery was
not as great as had been hoped for at the beginning of the year.

Pre-tax profits for the year amounted to £2.0 million, (2003: £1.2 million,
after exceptional items) on sales of £32.8 million (2003: £32.0 million).
Earnings per share for the year were 5.7p compared with 3.6p for 2003 (5.3p
before exceptional items).

Cash inflow before financing improved by £1.8 million from the previous year, to
end at £169,000, a significant swing driven largely by a reduction in capital
expenditure. This, together with currency translation adjustments, contributed
to net debt ending at £10.1 million (2003: £10.5 million), the first fall in
four years. Gearing ended the year at 62.8% (2003: 68.6%)


The Board is recommending an unchanged final dividend of 2.5p per share making a
total for the year of 4.5p (2003: 4.5p).


Sales of magnesia products, principally for domestic and industrial appliances,
were disappointing in the second half of 2004 after a good first half. In Europe
there was some de-stocking by customers in the last few months of the year but
this trend seems to have corrected itself in the opening months of 2005. In Asia
the build-up of sales into China is still not as strong as originally hoped.

Sales of standard zirconia products into the steel making industry have
continued to grow in the second half of the year and for the immediate future
prospects in this sector appear to be reasonably good. Advanced ceramic
materials sales, based upon zirconia chemistry, into the automotive sector have
grown strongly, including powders used in the manufacture of oxygen sensors.
Operational efficiencies at the zirconia processing plant in Greeneville,
Tennessee have continued to improve through the year.


2004 saw Bob Hughes step down as Group Chief Executive and the appointment of
Jamie Brundell in his place. The smooth way in which this transition has worked
is a credit to both of them. Bob Hughes retires at the end of June 2005 and will
take with him the thanks of the Board and shareholders for an outstanding
contribution to the group over many years. He has also indicated his willingness
to undertake specific projects for the Group in the future, should the need
arise, a reassuring confirmation that his great experience will not be lost to
the Group.


The markets in which the Group operates continue to change and make great
demands on staff at all levels. The thanks of shareholders and Directors go to
all our people for responding to these challenges so positively.


Our objective is to deliver further growth in 2005 even though competition
remains strong in most of the markets in which UCM operates. Our internal cost
control is good but external cost increases beyond our control, especially
energy costs in the United Kingdom and United States, are likely to put pressure
on margins in 2005. Nevertheless, the Group is determined to maintain progress
in the current year.

John Gordon
30 March 2005

Consolidated Profit and Loss Account
for the year ended 31 December 2004
                                                       Continuing   Continuing
                                                       Operations   Operations
                                                             2004         2003
                                                             £000         £000

Turnover                                                    32808        31956

Cost of sales                                              (25264)      (25141)
(including exceptional costs Nil - 2003: £240,000)
                                                           _______      _______

Gross profit                                                 7544         6815

Distribution costs                                           (236)        (247)

Administrative expenses                                     (4746)       (4856)
(including exceptional costs Nil - 2003: £332,000))
                                                           _______      ______

Operating profit                                             2562         1712

Interest payable and similar charges                         (531)        (471)
                                                           _______      _______

Profit on ordinary activities before taxation                2031         1241

Taxation on ordinary activities                              (656)        (379)
                                                           _______      _______
Profit for the financial year                                1375          862

Dividends paid and proposed                                 (1071)       (1077)
                                                           _______      _______

Retained profit/(loss) for the financial year                 304         (215)
                                                           _______      _______

Earnings per ordinary share

Basic and diluted                                             5.7p         3.6p
                                                           _______      _______
Before exceptional items

Basic and diluted                                             5.7p         5.3p
                                                           _______      _______

Consolidated Balance Sheet
as at 31 December 2004
                                            2004                    2003

                                       £000      £000        £000         £000
Fixed assets

Intangible assets                                 446                      545
Tangible assets                                 16399                    16359
                                              _______                  _______

                                                16845                    16904
Current assets

Stocks                                 8105                  7556
Debtors                                6566                  6455
Cash at bank and in hand                815                   130
                                    _______               _______

                                      15486                 14141

Creditors: amounts falling due 
           within one year           (14404)               (13546)

                                    _______               _______

Net current assets                               1082                      595
                                              _______                  _______

Total assets less current liabilities           17927                    17499

Creditors: amounts falling due after 
           more than one year                    (518)                    (825)

Provisions for liabilities and charges          (1363)                   (1403)

                                              _______                  _______

Net assets                                      16046                    15271
                                              _______                  _______

Capital and reserves

Called up share capital                          1196                     1196
Share premium account                            8402                     8402
Capital redemption reserve                        218                      218
Revaluation reserve                              3180                     1689
Profit and loss account                          3050                     3766
                                              _______                  _______

Shareholders' funds - Equity                    16046                    15271
                                              _______                  _______

These financial statements were approved by the Board of Directors on 30 March
2005 and were signed on its behalf by:

M. Fookes

J. K. Brundell


Consolidated Cash Flow Statement
for the year ended 31 December 2004

                                            2004                    2003

                                      £000        £000        £000        £000

Net cash inflow from operating 
 activities                                       2805                    2777

Returns on investments and 
 servicing of finance

Interest paid                                     (526)                   (470)


UK corporation tax (paid)             (417)                   (360)

Overseas tax (paid)                     (9)                   (114)
                                    _______                 _______

                                                  (426)                   (474)

Capital expenditure

Payments for intangible fixed assets   (27)                   (270)

Payments for tangible fixed assets    (586)                  (1574)

Receipts from sale of tangible 
 fixed assets                            -                      36
                                    _______                 _______

                                                  (613)                  (1808)

Equity dividends paid                            (1071)                  (1676)
                                               ________                 _______

Cash inflow/(outflow) before financing             169                   (1651)


Issue of ordinary share capital          -                       3

New loans                               76                       -

Repayment of amounts borrowed         (324)                   (293)

Short term borrowings                  828                    2019
                                    _______                 _______
Net cash inflow from financing                     580                    1729
                                               ________                 _______
Increase in cash in the year                       749                      78
                                               ________                 _______

Segmental Information

                                                   Continuing      Continuing
                                                   Operations      Operations
                                                         2004            2003
                                                         £000            £000
Turnover can be analysed as follows:

by destination

United Kingdom                                           2383            2851
North America                                            9376            8940
Continental Europe                                      12949           12852
Central and South America                                 788             591
Asia                                                     6672            5981
Rest of World                                             640             741
                                                      _______         _______

                                                        32808           31956
                                                      _______         _______
by origin

United Kingdom                                          15047           18648
North America                                           17761           13308
                                                      _______         _______

                                                        32808           31956
                                                      _______         _______
by market

Domestic & Industrial Appliances                        16822           17779
Steelmaking                                              6736            6009
Automotive                                               6893            5554
Investment Casting                                         42              38
Engineered Ceramics                                       855             944
Other Industrials                                        1460            1632
                                                      _______         _______

                                                        32808           31956
                                                      _______         _______
Net assets can be analysed as follows:

by origin

United Kingdom                                          14123           14102
North America                                           13837           13688
                                                      _______         _______

                                                        27960           27790

Non Operating Liabilities                              (11914)         (12519)
                                                      _______         _______

                                                        16046           15271
                                                      _______         _______

                                                 Continuing         Continuing
                                                 Operations         Operations
                                                       2004               2003
                                                       £000               £000
by market

Domestic & Industrial Appliances                      13497              14079
Steelmaking                                            6293               4441
Automotive                                             6101               5885
Investment Casting                                       35                 20
Engineered Ceramics                                     979               1094
Other Industrials                                      1055               2271
                                                    _______            _______

                                                      27960              27790

Non Operating Liabilities                            (11914)            (12519)
                                                    _______            _______

                                                      16046              15271
                                                    _______            _______

Non operating liabilities include net cash/(borrowings), taxation balances,
pension balances and dividends payable.


In the opinion of the Directors the disclosure of results by market and
geographical origin would be seriously prejudicial to the interests of the


1. The financial information set out above does not constitute the Company's
   statutory accounts for the years ended 31 December 2004 and 2003 within the
   meaning of section 240 of the Companies Act 1985 but is derived from those
   accounts. Statutory accounts for 2003 have been delivered to the Registrar of
   Companies whereas those for 2004 will be delivered following the Company's
   annual general meeting. The auditors have reported on those accounts; their
   reports were unqualified and did not contain a statement under section 237(2) or
   (3) of the Companies Act 1985.

2. Earnings per ordinary share is calculated with reference to the profit
   attributable to ordinary shareholders of £1,375,000 (2003: £862,000) and the
   weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue during the year of
   23,932,373 (2003: 23,932,373). There is no dilution in the earnings per share in
   both the reporting period and the comparative year of 2003.

3. If approved a final dividend of 2.5p (net) per ordinary share will be paid on
   30th May 2005 to shareholders on the register at 22nd April 2005.

4. The annual general meeting will be held on 25th May 2005, at the offices of
   Hammonds, Rutland House, 148 Edmund Street, Birmingham B3 2JR.

5. Copies of the 2004 Report and Accounts will be sent to shareholders in due
   course. Further copies will be available from the Company's registered office at
   Doxey Road, Stafford ST16 1DZ.

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

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