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Hays Reflects On International Importance

Hays Reflects On International Importance

Hays has reported its half yearly results for the six months to the end of 31st December 2009.

6 months ended 31 December Actual LFL*
Unaudited (In 's million) 2009 2008 growth growth

Net fees 264.8 383.7 (31)% (35)%
Profit before tax (before exceptional items)30.4 100.8 (70)%
Profit before tax 3.4 100.8 (97)%

Highlights

54% of Group net fees and 82% of operating profits** generated from outside the UK

Continued strong cash flow from operations of 36.1 million (103% of operating profit**)

Net debt levels reduced to 38.4 million (2008: 54.6 million)

Interim dividend maintained at 1.85p

Modest sequential improvement in demand in Asia Pacific and parts of Continental Europe

Selectively increasing headcount, predominantly in Asia Pacific

* LFL (like-for-like) growth represents organic growth of continuing activities
at constant currency. There were the same number of trading days in 2009 and 2008.

** numbers are presented before the exceptional charge of 27 million in 2009
relating to the OFT fine that is currently under appeal. There were no
exceptional items in 2008.

Commenting on these results, Alistair Cox, Chief Executive of Hays, said:
"These results illustrate the importance of our international business, which
represents over three quarters of our worldwide profits. With operations in 27
countries outside the UK, Hays has the largest international specialist
recruitment business in the industry. Throughout the recession we have
protected the core of our international business and strengthened it by
entering new geographies and sectors. At the same time as investing in this
infrastructure around the world, we have defended our market leading position
in the UK, rapidly adjusted our cost base and generated significant cash to
allow us both to reduce net debt and maintain the dividend.

Currently we are seeing improved candidate and client confidence across the
business in most of our private sector markets. Asia Pacific and parts of
Continental Europe have continued to deliver modest rates of sequential
improvement. Our remaining businesses continue to see overall stability in
their markets and in the UK we expect our performance to be broadly similar in
the second half. Our exposure to high potential overseas markets, our
investment in technology, and the retention of our key people, position us
extremely well to capitalise on the next phase of economic growth."

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