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Hydrogen Group feels effects of oil and gas downturn in H1

The Group stated costs continue to be taken out of the business to reflect lower levels of NFI and an exceptional charge of &pound1.8m has been taken (H1 2014: &pound1.5m). It reported dministrative expenses are down 27.6% to &pound10.2m (H1 2014: &pound14.1m), while benefits on the cost savings are expected to flow through in the second half of the year.

Headcount reduced to 214 (31 December 2014: 285), while operating loss before exceptional items is &pound0.1m (H1 2014: Operating profit &pound0.5m). Operating profit totalled &pound0.1m (H1 2014: &pound0.5m) before exceptional items, and foreign exchange loss of &pound0.1m (H1 2014: &pound0.1m).

There was a net cash position of &pound0.1m at period end (31 December 2014 net debt: &pound6.7m) while cash generation from operating activities before exceptional costs was &pound8.2m (&pound3.2m after adjusting for delayed payment from major customer at 31st December 2014) (H1 2014: &pound1.5m)

The company added Singapore continues to show strong growth outside Oil and Gas with NFI increasing by 65% on H1 2014, while the Group's UK Legal practice NFI increases NFI by 6% on H1 2014.

Commenting, Ian Temple, CEO of Hydrogen Group, said, "With 30% our H1 2014 NFI in Upstream Oil and Gas the sustained and material drop in the price of oil was bound to have a substantial impact. We have managed to cope with the challenge with our strong and diversified business model producing a break-even underlying performance in difficult circumstances. Since taking over as CEO in March 2015 I have conducted a thorough review of the business. We have a strong position in a number of specialist markets with a great client base. I would like to thank our highly capable staff for their loyalty and efforts as we seek to get the business back into profitable growth"

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