INTERIM MANAGEMENT STATEMENT
QUARTER ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2012
9 October 2012
Growth in net fees for the quarter ended 30 September 2012 (Q1)
(versus the same period last year) Actual
Asia Pacific (8)%
Continental Europe & Rest of World 5%
United Kingdom & Ireland (9)%
(1) LFL (like-for-like) growth represents organic growth at constant currency.
* Markets overall stable through the quarter. Group net fees decreased 1%(1)
versus prior year
* International business delivered growth of 3%(1) and represented 70% of net
fees in the quarter
* Strong growth of 16%(1) in Continental Europe & Rest of World, driven by
performance in Germany which grew by 25%(1)
* Asia Pacific net fees decreased 9%(1). Australia & New Zealand was broadly
stable versus the previous quarter and
decreased 9%(1) year-on-year against tougher comparatives; 6%(1) decrease
* Net fees decreased 9% in the UK & Ireland. Private sector decreased 14%,
while public sector grew by 10%
* Continued selective investment approach and focussed cost control to
maximise the financial performance of the Group
* Net debt ended the quarter at c.£140 million. Completed re-financing of a
new 5 year, £300m revolving credit
facility to October 2017
* Consultant headcount up 2% in the quarter, but ended September down 2% year-on-year
Commenting on the Group's performance in the first quarter, Alistair Cox, Chief
"Conditions through the quarter were stable overall, but remained multi-speed
across various geographies and sectors.
Several parts of the Group continued to deliver good growth with 15 countries
delivering net fee growth of 10%(1) or
more. Amongst these were Germany, which is operating at record levels, Brazil,
Canada and Japan. In contrast certain
markets, notably the UK, parts of Asia and Southern Europe were very difficult.
Looking ahead, we expect this multi-speed environment to continue and whilst
overall conditions remain challenging,
and some markets are very tough, opportunities for growth exist in many key
parts of our business. We continue to
invest selectively to fully capitalise on these growth opportunities, whilst
focussing on controlling costs and
driving productivity around the Group to maximise the bottom line."
In the quarter ended 30 September 2012 net fees at Hays, the leading global
professional recruitment group, decreased
by 1% on a like-for-like basis(1) against prior year (net fees decreased by 4%
on a headline basis). Net fees in
the temporary placement business, which accounts for 58% of Group net fees,
grew by 6%(1). Net fees in the permanent
placement business decreased by 9%(1).
The exit rate was in line with the performance through the quarter as a whole,
as market conditions remain challenging
but broadly stable.
Our underlying temporary placement margin(2) increased slightly due to
favourable changes in business mix.
Consultant headcount was up 2% during the quarter but ended September down 2%
year-on-year. We remain selective
regarding areas of investment around the Group, investing where opportunities
exist whilst at the same time
focussing on tight cost control to maximise Group financial performance.
Exchange rate movements had a negative impact on the results overall, reducing
net fees by 3%, primarily due to
depreciation in the rate of exchange of the Euro. Fluctuations in exchange
rates remain a significant sensitivity
for the Group.
In Asia Pacific, which represents 32% of Group net fees, net fees decreased by
In our market-leading Australia & New Zealand business, net fees decreased by
9%(1) within which our temporary
placement business decreased by 1%(1) and our permanent placement business
decreased by 21%(1). The business was
broadly sequentially stable overall, but faced tougher comparatives in the
quarter notably in the permanent placement
market. The Australian market remains dual track, although our Resource and
Mining related business started to weaken
as the quarter progressed, especially in Queensland. Whilst we delivered good
growth in Western Australia, Australian
Capital Territory and New Zealand, this was more than offset by decreases in
New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
In Asia, which accounted for 14% of the division, net fees decreased by 6%(1).
In Japan we recorded good growth of
10%(1), and elsewhere in the division market conditions remained challenging
Consultant headcount in the Asia Pacific division was down 2% in the quarter,
and ended September down 4% year-on-year.
Continental Europe & Rest of World (`RoW')
In Continental Europe & RoW, our largest division, which represents 38% of
Group net fees, we recorded further strong
net fee growth of 16%(1). The performance of our German business, which now
represents 20% of Group net fees, was again
excellent. Net fees increased 25%(1) to record levels, and growth was broad
based across all sectors and each of our
contracting, temporary and permanent placement businesses.
We delivered net fee growth of 7%(1) in the rest of the division, which is
primarily a permanent placement business,
where market conditions remained mixed and fragile overall. 12 countries
delivered net fee growth of 10%(1) or
more, and we delivered all-time record performances in Belgium and Brazil as
well as strong growth in Canada and Russia.
Activity elsewhere continues to be significantly impacted by macroeconomic
conditions with 5 countries recording
net fee declines in the quarter, and conditions in Southern Europe remaining
Consultant headcount in the Continental Europe & RoW division grew by 7% during
the quarter and ended September up 11%
United Kingdom & Ireland
In the United Kingdom & Ireland, net fees decreased by 9%. In our private
sector business, net fees decreased by 14% as
market conditions remained very difficult overall, especially in our Banking
and City-related and Construction &
Property specialisms, but our Life Sciences, HR and Energy businesses delivered
good growth. In our public sector
business net fees grew by 10%, driven predominantly by job churn in the
permanent business. The public sector
business continues to perform in line with our expectations.
The cost reduction measures we implemented in the previous financial year and
the further actions we continue to take
have defended the financial performance of the division.
Consultant headcount in the United Kingdom & Ireland division was flat in the
quarter and ended September down 12%
Cash flow and balance sheet
In line with expectations, net debt increased to around £140 million (30 June
2012: £133 million) due primarily to
the timing of tax payments.
We completed the re-financing of our £300 million revolving credit banking
facility on 2 October 2012 at interest rates
similar to the previous deal. The new 5 year facility provides considerable
headroom versus current and future expected
levels of Group debt. The covenants, which are unchanged on the Group's
existing facility, require the Group's interest
cover ratio to be at least 4:1 and its leverage ratio (net debt to EBITDA) to
be no greater than 2.5:1. The Group has
significant headroom within these covenants.
(1) LFL (like-for-like) growth represents organic growth at constant currency.
(2) The underlying temporary placement gross margin is calculated as temporary
placement net fees divided by temporary
placement gross revenue and relates solely to temporary placements in which
Hays generates net fees and
specifically excludes transactions in which Hays acts as agent on behalf of
workers supplied by third party agencies.
Paul Venables Group Finance Director + 44 (0) 20 7383 2266
David Walker Head of Investor Relations + 44 (0) 20 7383 2266
Brian Hudspith + 44 (0) 20 7379 5151
Paul Venables and David Walker of Hays plc will conduct a conference call for
analysts and investors at 9:00am United
Kingdom time on 9 October 2012. The dial-in details are as follows:
Dial-in number +44 (0) 20 3140 0668
The call will be recorded and available for playback for seven days as follows:
Replay dial-in number +44 (0) 20 3140 0698
Access code 387269#
Trading Update for the quarter ended 31 December 2012 10 January
Interim Results for the six months ending 31 December 2012 28
Interim Management statement for the quarter ending 31 March 2013 11 April
Hays Group overview
Hays has 7,800 employees in 245 offices in 33 countries. In many of our global
markets, the vast majority of
professional and skilled recruitment is still done in-house, with minimal
outsourcing to recruitment agencies. This
presents substantial long-term structural growth opportunities and has been a
key driver of the rapid diversification
and internationalisation of the Group, with the International business
representing 69% of the Group's net fees in
FY2012, compared with around 15% just 10 years ago.
Our 5,013 consultants work in a broad range of sectors with no one sector
specialism representing more than 26% of Group
net fees. While Accountancy & Finance, Construction & Property and IT
represented 64% of Group net fees in FY2012, our
expertise across 20 professional and skilled recruitment specialisms gives us
opportunities to rapidly develop newer
markets by replicating these long-established, existing areas of expertise.
In addition to this international and sectoral diversification, in FY2012 the
Group's net fees were generated 56% from
temporary and 44% permanent placement markets, and we believe that this balance
provides relative resilience to our
business model in the current environment.
Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil,
Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech
Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy,
Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico,
the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the United Kingdom
and the USA.
This Interim Management Statement (the "Report") has been prepared in
accordance with the Disclosure Rules and
Transparency Rules of the UK Financial Services Authority and is not audited.
No representation or warranty, express
or implied, is or will be made in relation to the accuracy, fairness or
completeness of the information or opinions made
in this Report. Statements in this Report reflect the knowledge and information
available at the time of its
preparation. Certain statements included or incorporated by reference within
this Report may constitute "forward-looking
statements" in respect of the Group's operations, performance, prospects and/or
financial condition. By their nature,
forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and
assumptions and actual results or events may
differ materially from those expressed or implied by those statements.
Accordingly, no assurance can be given that any
particular expectation will be met and reliance should not be placed on any
forward-looking statement. Additionally,
forward-looking statements regarding past trends or activities should not be
taken as a representation that such trends
or activities will continue in the future. The information contained in this
Report is subject to change without notice
and no responsibility or obligation is accepted to update or revise any forward-looking statement resulting from new
information, future events or otherwise. Nothing in this Report should be
construed as a profit forecast. This Report
does not constitute or form part of any offer or invitation to sell, or any
solicitation of any offer to purchase or
subscribe for any shares in the Company, nor shall it or any part of it or the
fact of its distribution form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with,
any contract or commitment or investment decisions relating thereto, nor does
constitute a recommendation regarding the shares of the Company or any
invitation or inducement to engage in investment
activity under section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Past
performance cannot be relied upon as a guide to future performance. Liability
arising from anything in this Report shall be governed by English Law, and
neither the Company nor any of its affiliates, advisers or representatives
shall have any liability whatsoever (in
negligence or otherwise) for any loss howsoever arising from any use of this
Report or its contents or otherwise arising
in connection with this Report. Nothing in this Report shall exclude any
liability under applicable laws that cannot be
excluded in accordance with such laws.
-0- Oct/09/2012 06:00 GMT
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