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PARITY GROUP PLC - RESULTS

Parity Group plc, the UK IT Services Company, announces its unaudited preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2009.

Key points - financial

Group revenues from continuing operations of 119.0M (2008: 132.3M)

Resilient performance from Resources with revenues of 100.5m (2008: 110.2M) and operating profit before exceptional items of 3.0M (2008: 3.7M)

Solutions experienced difficult trading conditions, with revenues of 18.5M (2008: 22.1M) and operating profit before exceptional items of 0.03M (2008: 1.4M)

Group profit from continuing operations before tax and exceptional items of 0.25M (2008: 1.7M)

Net debt of 9.8M (2008: 3.8M), due to lower profitability, legacy cash outflows, restructuring costs, and a short-term H2 increase in debtor days. Now improved with a consequent reduction in net debt as at the end of February to 7.5M

Key points - operational

Training business divested in February 2009

Decisive action taken on costs, with closure of Hemel Hempstead and Leeds sites and staff reductions across the business

Client service levels maintained

Successfully widened Public Sector client base to reduce dependency on a few large organisations

Sales effort more focussed on Private Sector to take advantage of any upturn

Implementation of new IT systems with clear benefits showing through in the current year

Alwyn Welch, Chief Executive, commented:

"As the recession deepened during 2009, Parity continued to experience difficult trading conditions. Against this background, Resources delivered a very resilient performance, especially compared to most of its competitors, whilst Solutions struggled for much of the year although showed improvement in the second half. By acting quickly on both costs and operating systems, we have weathered the economic storm far better than the Group has done in the past.

"We do not expect our markets to strengthen or grow significantly overall during the current year. IT spending in the public sector will continue to be under strong pressure, but we can see more signs for optimism in the private sector. However, revenue visibility remains low and volatility high.
"Prudence and caution will remain our operational watchwords, as we navigate Parity through the current year and as the market slowly emerges from recession. In the meantime, our reputation for high quality service delivery will help us to continue to differentiate well."

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