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Cautiously Optimistic Hydrogen

Hydrogen Group Plc the international specialist recruitment group, is pleased to announce preliminary results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2009.
Key Highlights for the year include:

Good performance delivered despite challenging trading environment (Group Revenue of 74.1m and NFI of 16.8m for the year)
12% NFI growth in second half on first half of 2009
Continued selective investment into more robust market sectors and geographies
Strong performance from Engineering business with NFI up by 50% to 1.5m (2008: 1.0m)
International operations contributed 22% of total Group NFI (2008: 12%)
Strong performance from Australia with NFI up 189% for the period to 1.2m (2008: 0.4m)
First office in Far East Asia opened in Singapore, since the year end
Total dividends for the year of 4.1p per share (2008: 4.1p)

Commenting on the results, Ian Temple, Executive Chairman, said:
The Group has delivered a good performance during what has been an exceptionally challenging year for trading across global recruitment markets. Against this difficult backdrop we have continued to improve our operational efficiency and align our cost base to our trading environment, whilst maintaining flexibility in our business model to respond to demand in more robust markets and sectors. In the second half of the year we grew NFI by 12% and returned to profitable growth.

Since the year end we have continued to see signs of improvement in the UK, albeit against a low base in the prior year. We have also made further progress in exploiting international demand for specialist candidates and in January 2010 we were delighted to announce the opening of our Singapore office, our first in the Far East.
We are cautiously optimistic in our outlook for 2010 at this early stage in the year. Our strong business model and sound balance sheet give us confidence that we are well positioned for the year ahead.


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