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UK – Hydrogen profits up in 2011

05 March 2012

The international recruitment firm Hydrogen (HYDG:LSE), today announced its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2011, which saw revenue go up +27% to £156.2 million from £123.4 million in the previous year.

The Group also reported an +8% increase in net fee income which reached £29.8 million from £27.6 million, resulting in a gross profit margin of 18%. Profit before tax also went up +48% to £3.7 million from £2.5 million in 2010 while profit for the year increased to £2.4 million, up from £1.75 million in 2010.

In the UK, annual revenues went up from £100.1 million in 2010 to £125.2 million in 2011 while gross profit declined marginally to £18.75 million, down from £18.8 in the previous year. Sales generated in other countries went up from £23.3 million to £31 million in 2011 while the gross profit increased to £11 million from £8.7 million. The company has offices in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore but claims to operate globally with specialist research teams spanning over 40 countries.

The firm said that permanent recruitment remained tough and saw a decline in 2011, with gross profit falling by -8% to £13.6 million from £14.8 million in 2010 while revenues also decreased to £13.6 million in 2011 from £15.3 million in the previous year.

Revenues generated from contract placement, on the other hand, went up to £142.6 from £108 million while gross profit also increased +28% to £16.2 million from £12.7 million.  

The firm stated that gross profit from its Technical and Scientific business increased by +76% to £8.6m and now represents 29% of the gross profit (2010:18%). Annual highlights include the opening of new offices in Hong Kong and Edinburgh while the firm’s headcount increased by +10% to 362 (31 December 2010: 329).

Ian Temple, Executive Chairman of Hydrogen Group plc, commented on the firm’s annual performance, saying that "Against a backdrop of uncertain market conditions in 2011 we continued to make good progress against our strategy, demonstrating our ability to identify and deliver growth in new sectors and geographies. Our Oil & Gas and Pharmaceuticals practices, established in 2008 and 2010 respectively, performed exceptionally well and together contributed nearly 30% of Group NFI. The year saw continued success in our overseas expansion with International NFI rising by 25% over the period.”

“This development has been further supported by increased headcount and continued investment in the IT infrastructure of the business in order to serve better our clients' increasingly global needs and deliver long-term growth, whilst maintaining a tight control on costs and continuing to deliver growth in profitability."

Commenting on current trading, the company said, “Uncertainty in the macro-economic environment has continued into 2012, and visibility in global recruitment markets remains limited. Whilst we remain alert to changes in market conditions, we believe through continued careful market selection and with focused investment in key areas the business is well placed to take advantage of growth opportunities.”

Hydrogen Group plc 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 went up +5.35% to £90.60, down -29.36% from a year ago, but +29.43% above the 52-week low of £70.00 set on 22 February 2012. This values the company at £20.22 million. 


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