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Matchtech Results

Matchtech Group, one of the UK's leading specialist technical recruitment companies, has announced its unaudited results for the six months ended 31st January 2009.

Financial Highlights show:-

Revenue up 18% to 138.0 (2008 H1: 116.6m)
Net Fee Income (NFI) up 8% to 16.6m (2008 H1: 15.3m)
Contract NFI up 12% & Permanent recruitment fees up 2%
NFI grew 13% in Quarter 1 and 3 % in Quarter 2
Operating profit up 3% to 6.4m (2008 H1: 6.2m)
Operating profit margin 4.6% (2008 H1: 5.3%)
Profit before tax up 7% to 6.1m (2008 H1: 5.7m)
Basic EPS up 12% to 19.03p (2008 H1: 17.02p)

Commenting on the results, George Materna, Chairman of Matchtech said:

"We are pleased with these first half results in what are increasingly very challenging economic conditions.

"In the six months to 31 January 2009 we have continued to grow contract Net Fee Income was up 12%, while permanent fees were essentially unchanged from the same period last year. Operating margins have fallen due to a combination of operational gearing and pay rates and margins being put under increasing pressure. With lower interest costs and a write back of unvested LTIP charges, we have increased Profits before tax by 7% to 6.1m. Basic earnings per share were up 12% to 19.03 pence per share.

"Since the period end the Group has extended its banking facilities with Barclays Bank for two years, giving the Group 27.5m of funding in place until 2011.

"The Board has also taken steps to align the Group's cost base with prevailing market conditions. We have reduced headcount by 10% from 315 at 31 January 2009 to 286 at 31 March 2009. These actions, along with the high variable element of both consultant and management remuneration and the flexibility and cost benefits from the Group's single site model will allow us to effectively manage the cost base going forward. We expect to make savings of c1.0m in FY2010 plus tight control on capital expenditure.

"The Group continues to focus on those clients that operate in the publicly funded defence, transport and infrastructure sectors, where demand remains most resilient.
"As stated in our Trading Update on 9 February 2009, the economic climate is increasingly challenging, as evidenced by the significant reduction in growth in Quarter 2. This has continued into Q3 and the Group has much reduced visibility for the remainder of this financial year. Based upon current market conditions and expected run rates, the outlook for remainder of financial year to 31 July 2009 is now below the Board's previous expectations. "

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