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ECC GROUP ANNOUNCES RESULTS FOR 12 MONTHS ENDED DEC. 31, 1991; COMPANY INTENDS TO LIST ON NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE

 ECC GROUP ANNOUNCES RESULTS FOR 12 MONTHS ENDED DEC. 31, 1991;
 COMPANY INTENDS TO LIST ON NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE
 NEW YORK, March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- ECC Group plc (NASDAQ: ECLAY), the U.K. based industrial minerals company, today announced pre-tax earnings for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, 1991, were 115.4 million pounds sterling ($215.8 million), up 57 percent over the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, 1990, level of 73.3 million pounds ($137.1 million).
 Sales were 1,011.9 million pounds ($1,892.3 million), compared with the 12-month 1990 level of 1,004.5 million pounds ($1,878.4 million). Profit after taxation was 83.9 million pounds ($156.9 million) in 1991, up 78 percent from 47.1 million pounds ($88.1 million) in 1990. Earnings per ordinary share grew 110 percent to 32.59 pence. Earnings per American Depositary Share (one ADS equals three ordinary shares) were $1.83, up 110 percent from the 1990 level of $.87.
 The board of directors has recommended a final gross dividend of 17.86 pence per share (53.6 pence per ADS), making a total gross dividend for the period of 26.66 pence (80.0 pence per ADS). The gross dividend paid to U.S. investors is subject to a 15 percent U.K. withholding tax. The final dividend will be paid on June 23, 1992, to shareholders of record as of the close of business April 16, 1992. The dollar amount of the dividend per ADS will depend on the exchange rate on the date of payment.
 Commenting on the results, Andrew Teare, group chief executive, said, "In 1991 the ECC Group performed well in a difficult trading year, benefiting from the steps taken, during 1990 and 1991, to expand ECC International in its North American operations and to increase productivity and efficiency across the company as a whole. Following our long-term dividend policy, and in the absence of unforeseen circumstances, we expect the dividend for 1992 on the increased capital to be at least equal to the dividend declared for 1991."
 Change of Company Name
 Following the acquisition and integration of the Georgia Kaolin industrial minerals business, the completion of the announced divestiture program and the progressive reduction in exposure to the homebuilding industry, the company now has a well focused activity concentrating on industrial minerals and construction materials. Accordingly, the board now considers it appropriate to return to the previous corporate name of English China Clays plc, which shareholders and others continue to recognize and apply. Shareholder approval will be sought at the annual general meeting in April for the name to be changed effective May 11, 1992.
 Proposal to List on the New York Stock Exchange
 The board intends to file an application for its ADSs to trade on the NYSE, and will progress this with a view to obtaining a listing in late April. Following approval from the NYSE to list, the company will then withdraw its quotation of ADSs from NASDAQ.
 Company Review of Operations
 During the year management's prime mission was to implement the seven-point plan designed to improve performance and cash generation and to develop a capacity for change within ECC businesses. Cash generation during the year of 114 million pounds ($213 million) was achieved. Progress was significant on all fronts:
 -- cost reduction targets were achieved;
 -- the non-core disposal program of some 110 million pounds was completed;
 -- net capital expenditure reduced to 10.1 million pounds for the year;
 -- land sales contributed 5.9 million pounds to profits;
 -- a new corporate headquarters was created at Theale;
 -- pricing policy continued to be robust; and
 -- the integration of Georgia Kaolin was successfully completed and enhanced earnings.
 The company is now stronger, leaner and more clearly focused on industrial minerals and construction materials. The implementation of the seven-point plan has permitted some carefully controlled relaxations of the constraints on capital expenditure. During the first quarter of 1992, ECC International announced 38 million pounds of capital expenditure in the United States, Japan and Nordic areas to expand its service to its white pigment customers in the paper industry. These measures have been designed to meet anticipated growth in American and European markets and to strengthen the company's position in the important growth markets in the Pacific. ECC Construction Materials also announced a conditional agreement for the acquisition of sand and gravel reserves and a ready-mix business in Denver for $20.5 million.
 In February 1992 the company announced a 6-for-25 rights issue to raise some 209 million pounds. The proceeds will be used to redeem $350 million of auction preferred shares. The improved quality of the company's shareholders' funds, combined with the cash flow benefits of the ongoing phased land disposal program, will provide financial flexibility for the further development of the company's businesses.
 In 1991 the company completed the first stage of a program of change, renewal and rationalization. Management's objective is to continue to develop a highly profit-and-margin-conscious culture in the company and to pursue expansion opportunities whether through capital expenditure or acquisition, which enhance earnings per share and dividend growth for the long term.
 Management sees no upturn in major markets before the end of the year, but the company is benefiting from the restructuring program and is strongly positioned to enjoy substantial benefits from a recovery in trading conditions.
 Annual General Meeting
 The annual general meeting of the company will be held in London on Monday, April 27, 1992.
 The Annual Report and Accounts will be posted to shareholders on April 1, 1992.
 ECC Group is the world's leading producer of kaolin, which is one of the most important minerals used in the manufacture of paper. The company is also a major supplier of calcium carbonate, ball clay and other industrial minerals to companies worldwide. ECC is one of the largest suppliers of pre-cast concrete products in the United Kingdom. The company's construction materials activities also include the production of aggregates and coated stone. Approximately 20 percent of the company's sales are generated in the United States.
 Notes:
 1. The figures for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, and for the 15 months to Dec. 31, 1990, published in this preliminary announcement have been extracted from the company's statutory accounts. The auditors have given unqualified reports on the full statutory accounts for both periods. A copy of the statutory accounts for the 15 months to Dec. 31, 1990, has been filed with the Registrar of Companies; a copy of the statutory accounts for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, will be filed after publication. Figures are also given for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, 1990, to assist year-on-year comparisons.
 2. Dollar figures represent the U.K. sterling results of ECC Group plc converted to U.S. dollars at $1.87, which is the noon buying rate of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Dec. 31, 1991.
 -0- 3/23/92
 /CONTACT: Thomas C. Franco or Jeffrey G. Gibson of Broadgate Consultants, 212-229-2222, for ECC Group/
 (ECLAY) CO: ECC Group plc ST: New York IN: MNG SU: ERN


GK -- NY006 -- 0432 03/23/92 09:30 EST
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