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UK — Hydrogen gross profits down by -47%

04 September 2009

Hydrogen Group plc (HYDG:LSE), the specialist contract and permanent staffing group, reports a fall in revenues from 49.9 million Pounds in the first six months of 2008 to 34.9 million Pounds for the same period in 2009. Gross profit fell by -47% from 14.9 million Pounds in 2008 to 7.9 million Pounds in 2009.

Administration costs were reduced by -31% compared to the first half of 2008. Headcount was reduced by -27%. The contract versus permanent mix of net fee income was 55%:45% in favour of contract.

The engineering business showed strong growth during the period increasing net fee income from 0.4 million Pounds to 0.8 million Pounds. The final dividend per share for 2008 was 2 Pence. The proposed interim dividend to be paid in November 2009 is 0.5 Pence per share.

Non-UK net fee income for the period represents 19% of the group's total compared to 11% in the first six months of 2008. Australia net fee income increased by 128% from 0.2 million Pounds in 2008 to 0.5 million Pounds in 2009.

Tim Smeaton, Chief Executive of Hydrogen Group plc said "as anticipated, the challenging trading environment seen in 2008 has continued into the first six months of the year as the global macro economic uncertainty continues to impact international recruitment markets. Whilst the start of the second half of 2009 has seen a modest improvement in some sectors compared with the first half, we are still understandably cautious and believe the market will continue to be challenging for the remainder of the year."

"In the short term we are focused on managing our business as efficiently as possible. The Group reacted quickly to the downturn in the market in 2008 and we remain vigilant for any upturn. Our net cash balance allows us flexibility to invest selectively in new markets and geographies, ensuring we are well placed for long-term growth and to take advantage of future opportunities."

Hydrogen's principal activities are the provision of recruitment services, both contract and permanent, predominately at the mid to senior level professional, in the information technology, financial, legal and engineering segments. The two main trading subsidiaries are Hydrogen UK Limited and Hydrogen International Limited.

In early trading Hydrogen's shares were unchanged at 56 Pence.



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