HAYS PLC HALF YEAR REPORT
HAYS PLC HALF YEAR REPORT
- FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2010
STRONG NET FEE AND OPERATING PROFIT GROWTH DRIVEN BY INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
6 months ended 31 December Actual LFL*
Unaudited (In 's million) 2010 2009 growth growth
Net fees 326.1 264.8 23% 20%
Operating profit (before exceptional items) ** 52.1 35.1 48% 38%
Profit before tax (before exceptional items)** 48.6 30.4 60%
Profit before tax 48.6 3.4 1,329%
Basic earnings per share (before exceptional items)** 2.34p 1.38p 70%
Cash generated by operations 24.7 36.1 (32)%
Dividend per share 1.85p 1.85p -
Strong International performance driving Group net fee growth of 20%* and operating profit growth of 38%* versus prior year
62% of Group net fees generated from outside the UK (2009: 54%)
Excellent performance in Asia Pacific delivering 38%* net fee growth - Australia & New Zealand net fees up 35%* record performances in Singapore, China and Japan
Strong growth in Continental Europe & RoW with net fees up 33%* - Led by Germany which grew net fees by 38%* and now operating at record levels
Consultant headcount increased by 13% across the International business with investment ongoing
Overall net fee stability in the UK with strong growth of 27% in private sector markets, offset by tougher conditions in the public sector which was down 36% - Resources redirected to growth sectors such as Accountancy & Finance, IT, City-related and Corporate Accounts
Solid cash performance, with working capital increase driven by German temp fee growth and cash phasing
70% growth in basic earnings per share** to 2.34p with interim dividend unchanged at 1.85p
* LFL (like-for-like) growth represents organic growth of continuing activities at constant currency. There were the same number of trading days in 2010 and 2009.
** In 2009 numbers are presented before the exceptional item of 27.0 million relating to the OFT fine that is currently under appeal. There were no exceptional items in 2010.
Commenting on these results, Alistair Cox, Chief Executive of Hays, said:
"Our performance this half has been very encouraging with profit up almost 50%. 18 countries around the world grew net fees by more than 25%*, showing the depth and breadth of momentum across the business. Our outlook remains positive across nearly all of the markets in which we operate.
We continue to invest for growth and have increased our International consultant headcount by 13% this half, with further increases planned for the next six months. Our IT investment projects are now substantially complete and our focus has moved on to fully utilising these systems to drive productivity, efficiency and customer service. We opened businesses in Mexico and the United States in the second quarter, bringing the total number of country operations to 30. With almost two thirds of our net fees now generated outside the UK the business is well placed to capitalise on the excellent long term structural growth prospects ahead."