Harvey Nash Group issues interim management statement
On a like-for-like basis, in the first quarter compared to the corresponding period in the previous year, revenue was 12% higher (15% on a constant currency basis*), gross profit was 2% higher (6% on a constant currency basis*) and operating profit was 12% higher (17% on a constant currency basis*).
Demand for permanent recruitment is strong in the US, UK and Hong Kong and there are continuing signs of improvement in Sweden and Finland, although Norway remains weak. Demand for permanent recruitment also remains weak in mainland Europe, however there it is offset by robust demand for contractor services. In the USA, demand for offshore services is picking up, offsetting lower demand for contracting as a result of the swing to permanent recruitment.
As set out in the preliminary statement announcement on 25th April, the Board intends to recommend an increased final dividend of 1.974 pence per share, up 10% on the prior year (2013: 1.795p). If approved at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting the final dividend, which would take total dividends for the year to 3.21 pence per share (2013: 2.92 pence), will be paid on 11 July 2014 to shareholders on the register as at 20 June 2014. This marks the seventh successive annual increase.
The Group maintains substantial headroom in its banking facilities, which total £52 million, and debtor days have improved slightly since the year end with the result that the Group's net available cash resources are greater than at the equivalent point in the prior year.
Overall, the previously reported momentum gained in the second half of last year, and particularly the final quarter, has continued with the result that performance in the first quarter has been in line with the management's expectations.
* 2014 figures re-translated at 2013 rates