Hays PLC has issued its results for the 6 months ended 31 December 2008.
Turnover was 1.278 billion versus 1.214 billion in 2007.
Net fees were 383.7 million up 2%, and PBT were 100.8million down 18%.
Cash generated was up 31% to 137.6 million.
Commenting on these results, Alistair Cox, Chief Executive of Hays, said: "Despite the increasingly tough markets we operate in, the early and decisive
actions we have taken to defend and develop our business have allowed us to deliver a resilient performance. Where we have seen a slowdown in demand we have reacted quickly to reduce our cost base, particularly in the UK and Australia. At the same time, our focus on cash enabled us to generate 137.6 million of operating cash in the half year, up over 31% on last year.
We are also seeing the benefits of our strategy of growing market share, focusing on more defensive sectors, and continuing to develop our international network. Over the last year, we have invested resources in the public sector market where we have delivered 12% net fee growth in the period. We have strengthened our services in the major corporate account sector, resulting in a number of contract wins that strengthen our relationships with several blue chip organisations. Selective investment overseas included new offices in Continental Europe, Australia and entry into India. We also achieved good growth in a number of our international businesses, including Germany where we increased net fees by 35%*.
Turning to the current environment, demand for permanent placements is falling at an increasing rate in all of the countries in which we operate. Demand for temporary placements is relatively resilient in most parts of our business following a reasonable level of re-engagement of temporary workers after the Christmas holidays.
Looking ahead, our strategy is unchanged. We will continue to take decisive
action to defend and develop our business in challenging market conditions. The strength of the balance sheet, our balance of permanent and temporary placement business, our international and sectoral diversification, and significant presence in the public sector stand us in good stead".