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Hays Issues Trading Update

Commenting on trading for the quarter ended 30 September 2008, Alistair Cox, Chief Executive of Hays plc, said: 10% net fee growth (4% on a like-for-like basis*) represents a solid start to the year in an increasingly difficult economic environment. Our International business, now representing 49% of the Groups net fees, and the UK public sector business both achieved strong performances, offsetting further weakness in the UK private sector market.

Currently, in the United Kingdom demand for temporary placements remains stable, except in Construction & Property and demand for permanent placements continues to fall. In Australia, we are still seeing good growth in demand for temporary placements but demand for permanent placements has started to fall. In most of the other countries in which we operate, we are still seeing strong growth in demand for our services.

Whilst there is no doubt that many of our markets are getting tougher, the experience of our management team, the flexibility of our cost base, the increased diversification of the Group, and the strength of our balance sheet positions us well to deal with these market conditions. In the last two quarters we have continued to take action to reduce our cost base in those markets already affected by the wider economic issues and going forward we will continue to keep a tight control on costs, focus on cash generation and react rapidly to changing market conditions.


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