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Financial summary

Growth in net fees for the quarter ended 30 September 2011 (Q1)       growth

(versus the same period last year)                                  

Financial summary

Growth in net fees for the quarter ended 30 September 2011 (Q1)       growth      

(versus the same period last year)                                  

                                                                actual     LFL*

By region                                                            

AsiaPacific                                             34%     21%

Continental Europe & Rest of World                       41%     34%

United Kingdom & Ireland                               (4)%     (4)

Total                                                    21%     15%

By segment                                                            

Temporary                                               21%     16%

Permanent                                               21%     15%  

Total                                                  21%     15%

* LFL (like-for-like) growth represents organic growth at constant currency.

Average exchange rates during the period were &pound1:AUD$1.54 and &pound1:&euro1.14 (AUD$1.72

and &euro1.20 in the prior year period)


&middot Group net fee growth of 15%* versus prior year, driven by continued strong performance of our International businesses, which represented 68% of net  fees in the quarter

&middot Excellent and broadly based growth of 34%* in Continental Europe & Rest of World, driven by Germany, which grew net fees by 34%*

&middot Strong net fee growth of 21%* in Asia Pacific, which included 20%* growth in

 Australia & New Zealand

&middot Net fees decreased 4% in the UK & Ireland, with private sector growth of 2% offset by tough, but sequentially stable, public sector markets, down 24% year on year

&middot 19 countries across the Group achieved net fee growth of 20%* or more, within which 10 countries grew net fees by over 40%*, including Brazil and China

&middot Continued investment in the International business in the quarter, with Hays

Colombia opened in July and International consultant headcount increasing 9%

Commenting on trading for the first quarter, Alistair Cox, Chief Executive, said:

"This quarter we have delivered good net fee growth driven by our International businesses which grew by 27%*. Whilst we are mindful of the increasing macro economic uncertainty around the world, trading remains robust in the vast majority of our International markets and 19 countries across the Group grew net fees by 20%* or more in the quarter. In the UK, we have seen a further slowdown in private sector growth, although public sector markets remain broadly stable on a sequential basis.

The Group now generates 68% of its net fees outside of the UK and has operations in 31 countries worldwide. This increasingly diverse global footprint supported by our investments in consultant headcount, technology, training and marketing leaves us ideally positioned to further capitalise on the long term structural growth opportunities available to Hays around the world."


In the quarter ended 30 September 2011, Hays, the leading global professional recruitment group, increased net fees by 21% (15% on a like-for-like basis*) against prior year. Net fees in the temporary placement business increased by

16%* whilst net fees in the permanent placement business increased by 15%* as the Group continued to see strong performance across the vast majority of its markets.

The Group's underlying temporary placement margin** remained broadly stable and in line with the previous quarter. The Group's consultant headcount increased by 6% during the quarter, driven by ongoing investment in Asia, Continental Europe and South America.  New offices were opened in Cologne in Germany and

Guangzhouin China during the quarter, and Hays Colombia, our 31st country operation, was launched in July.


In Asia Pacific we recorded net fee growth of 21%*. In our market-leading Australia & New Zealand business, we recorded overall net fee growth of 20%*, within which our permanent placement business grew by 16%*, whilst net fees in our temporary placement business increased by 23%*. Overall net fee growth remains good, led by our Accountancy & Finance and IT businesses and we continue to see strong performances in Western and South Australia, particularly in Resources & Mining.

Asia, which accounts for 14% of the division's net fees, achieved net fee growth of 30%*. Performances in China, Hong Kong and Singapore were excellent as each grew by over 30%* and achieved record monthly net fees in the quarter.

In Japan, we continue to see good progress following the events in that country earlier this year and net fees increased by 7%*.

Consultant headcount in the Asia Pacific division increased by 5% during the quarter and is up 18% year on year.

Continental Europe & Rest of World ('RoW')

In Continental Europe & RoW we recorded net fee growth of 34%*. Our German

business had another record performance this quarter as net fees increased by 34%*. Growth in Germany was broadly based across all of the sectors in which we operate, and was particularly strong in our contracting and temporary placement businesses. Growth across the rest of the division has been strong and broad based, with 13 countries increasing net fees by 20%* or more, led by strong performances in Austria, Brazil, Hungary, Russia and UAE which each achieved net fee growth in excess of 40%*.

Consultant headcount in the Continental Europe & RoW division increased by 11% during the quarter and is up 36% year on year.

United Kingdom & Ireland

In the United Kingdom & Ireland, net fees decreased by 4% in the quarter. In our private sector business, which represents 80% of net fees in the division, net fees grew by 2%. Growth weakened versus the previous quarter in large part due to tougher comparatives and more difficult market conditions in our Banking and City-related businesses. Elsewhere in our private sector business, our IT, Energy and Sales & Marketing businesses continued to perform well. In our public sector business, net fees decreased by 24% year on year, but were stable on a sequential basis.

Consultant headcount in the United Kingdom & Ireland division was broadly stable in the quarter and is 7% below prior year levels.

Cash flow and balance sheet

Net debt increased to around &pound175 million (30 June 2011: &pound134.8 million) at the end of the quarter due to the timing and phasing of cash flows. As previously guided we expect this to increase further in the next quarter following the payment of the final dividend in November, before reducing in the second half.


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