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Hays PLC, a London-based staffing firm with worldwide operations, said revenue rose 5% to GBP1.28 billion (US$1.85 billion) in its fiscal year's first half ended Dec. 31, 2008. Excluding currency effects, however, revenue rose 1%.
Profit fell 17.8% to GBP70.6 million (US$102.2 million) from GBP85.9 million in the same period last year.
"Demand for permanent placements is falling at an increasing rate in all of the countries in which we operate," said Chief Executive Alistair Cox. "Demand for temporary placements is relatively resilient in most parts of our business following a reasonable level of re-engagement of temporary workers after the Christmas holiday."
First-half revenue in the United Kingdom and Ireland fell 6.2% year-over-year to GBP720.3 million (US$1.04 billion). The company closed 14 offices in the U.K. and Ireland during the fourth quarter.
Revenue in its continental Europe and rest-of-world segment rose 36.7% to GBP301.2 million (US$436.1 million). Asia Pacific revenue also rose, up 13.9% to GBP257.2 million (US$372.4 million).
Hays operates 380 offices in 27 countries, not including the U.S.
For the fiscal year's first half ended Dec. 31, 2008.
Revenue: GDP1.28 billion (US$1.85 billion), +5%
Net income: GDP70.6 million (US$102.2 million), -17.8%