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Hydrogen Group plc Half Year Update

Hydrogen Group plc  Half Year Update

Hydrogen Group plc the global specialist recruitment business has issued a trading update in respect of the six months ended 30 June 2012.

The Group continued to trade in line with expectations during the period despite the on-going macroeconomic uncertainty, delivering modest growth in Net Fee Income  year on year.

Hydrogen continued to progress its strategy of growing a balanced business by carefully selecting and developing its presence in attractive geographies and markets. Group NFI generated from outside the UK increased to approximately 40% during the first six months and, as at the period end, more than 50% of client facing employees were servicing growth markets overseas. The Group renamed its Pharmaceuticals practice to Life Sciences, more accurately reflecting the increased scope of its activity, and together with Oil & Gas resulted in approximately 37% of Group NFI being generated from Technical & Scientific markets. The continued strong performance of these relatively new practices demonstrates Hydrogen?s ability to identify new markets as well as its flexibility to deliver quickly on the significant growth opportunities they offer.

Ensuring Hydrogen has the correct infrastructure in place to facilitate long-term growth is a key strategic focus and the Group has continued to make good progress in this area during the period. The Group piloted its new cloud-based global customer relationship management system (“CRM”) during the first six months and this will be rolled out across the rest of the business in the second half of the year. The Group also launched the rebrand of its individual UK brands under the Hydrogen brand. Together with the new CRM system this will deliver long-term competitive advantage by enabling Hydrogen to provide a more consistent global service to clients and candidates.

Commenting, Ian Temple, Executive Chairman said:

“Hydrogen has performed well in the first half of the year despite continued uncertainty in the global recruitment markets. We have continued to focus on our strategy of building global practices in our specialist markets and we remain well positioned for the long term.

The business continues to trade in line with our expectations. Nevertheless, on-going debt issues in Europe and the uncertain economic outlook mean that visibility across recruitment markets remains limited. The impact of the Olympic Games on UK recruitment markets in the second half of the year is unknown. However, we are confident in the performance of our international operations and contractor activity, and that the Group remains on target to achieve its 2012 goals.”

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