Hays Trading Update
Hays plc, Bob Lawson, Chairman, Hays plc has told shareholders: On 9 October, we issued an Interim Management Statement for the quarter ended 30 September 2008. In that statement we stated that we had made a solid start to the year recording 10% net fee growth (4% on a like-for-like basis*) in the first quarter against an increasingly difficult economic environment. We also made the following comments about market conditions and management actions: 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.
These comments still apply today. We will provide a more detailed trading update for the quarter ending 31 December 2008 on 8 January 2009.