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Highams Shares Fall 15%+

Highams Shares Fall 15%

Shares in Highams Systems Services Group plc have this morning dropped by over 15% on the release of their Preliminary results. The AIM quoted recruiter and a leading niche provider of business, technology and professional services to the insurance and financial services sectors announced its Preliminary Results for the year ended 31 March 2009.

Chairman Ken Ford said, Following the Board restructuring and capital reorganisation undertaken last October, Highams has continued to reduce overheads in line with the challenging climate within the recruitment sector. We have made significant cost savings across the Company and will continue to ensure that our overheads are tightly controlled. The second half to March 2009 showed reduced losses at 110k compared to 260k in the first half to September 2008.

We continue to focus in our niche market within the insurance sector and in maintaining the quality of service and delivery associated with our brand.
Although the results for the year are disappointing overall, we have probably endured in the second half of the year arguably the most difficult conditions seen by the recruitment sector as a whole. The current outlook remains uncertain, but we are pleased to report that in the first quarter of this financial year the business has produced a small profit at EBITDA level, and we continue to focus on finding higher value business through our niche networks.

Since the year end, further cost savings have been made. The strategy is to seek profits, whilst maintaining the quality of our offering and the Directors currently expect an improved performance in the current financial year.

Financial Results Group revenue fell by 22.6% . to 10.5m (2008: 13.6m) as contractor numbers declined during the last quarter of the financial year. Gross profit was therefore reduced at 1.76m (2008: 2.1m). This represents 16.7%. of revenue, which is slight improvement when compared to 15.6% in 2008.
Group loss before taxation and impairment was 370,000 (2008: loss of 851,000). The Directors are not recommending the payment of a final dividend for the year to 31 March 2009 (2008: nil).

Executives and Staff.
We remain a strong team of very knowledgeable long serving staff and whilst we are in a challenging market their loyalty and commitment to the group remains positive for which we are extremely grateful.

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