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UK – Hydrogen meets expectations but outlook remains uncertain

02 July 2012

The international recruitment firm Hydrogen (HYDG:LSE) traded in line with expectations in the half year running to 30 June 2012, seeing “modest” growth in net fee income, the company said today in a trading statement. But the outlook ahead is unclear due to “on-going macroeconomic uncertainty” and the unknown impact of the London Olympic Games on the industry this summer.

In the six-month period, Group net fee income generated from outside the UK increased to around 40% and at the end of June more than 50% of client facing employees were servicing growth markets overseas.

“We have continued to focus on our strategy of building global practices in our specialist markets and we remain well positioned for the long term,” Hydrogen Executive Chairman, Ian Temple, said.  

But he warned that “on-going debt issues in Europe and the uncertain economic outlook mean that visibility across recruitment markets remains limited.

“The impact of the Olympic Games on UK recruitment markets in the second half of the year is unknown. However, we are confident in the performance of our international operations and contractor activity, and that the Group remains on target to achieve its 2012 goals,” Mr Temple said.

In the six months to June, the firm renamed its Pharmaceuticals practice to Life Sciences and the firm said that around 37% of its net fee income was derived from Technical & Scientific markets.

To increase long-term growth, the Group has also piloted its new cloud-based global customer relationship management system (CRM) during the first six months, which will be rolled out across the rest of the business in the second half of the year.

The firm also launched the rebrand of its individual UK brands under the Hydrogen brand. “Together with the new CRM system this will deliver long-term competitive advantage by enabling Hydrogen to provide a more consistent global service to clients and candidates,” the firm said.

Last year Hydrogen saw revenue grow by +27% to £156.2 million with turnover from contract placements rising by over +30% to £142.6 million.

Hydrogen Group is a UK-based recruitment company, providing recruitment services for mid to senior level professional staff. The firms offers permanent and contract specialist recruitment consultancy for mainly large and medium-sized organisations and operates primarily in the technology, finance, professional and engineering sectors.

In early trading this morning, the company’s share price remained unchanged at 90.00 Pence, up +1.7% from a year ago and +28.6% above the 52-week low of 70.00 Pence set on 22 February 2012. The firm is valued at £21.17 million. 

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