Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

Hays PLC (HAS)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Wednesday 24 February, 2016

Hays PLC

Half Yearly Report

RNS Number : 9281P
Hays PLC
24 February 2016
 

HALF YEAR REPORT

SIX MONTHS ENDED

31 DECEMBER 2015

 

24 February 2016

 

 

 

CONTINUED STRONG OPERATING LEVERAGE DRIVES 15%(1) PROFIT GROWTH FROM GOOD 8%(1) NET FEE GROWTH

Six months ended 31 December
(In £'s million)

2015

2014

Actual
growth

LFL(1)
growth

Net fees

396.9

383.9

3%

8%

Operating profit

86.3

81.5

6%

15%

Conversion rate

21.7%

21.2%

50bps

 

Cash generated by operations

33.9

78.5

(57)%

 

Profit before tax

82.4

77.3

7%

 

Basic earnings per share

3.99p

3.64p

10%

 

Dividend per share

0.91p

0.87p

5%

 

 

Highlights

·      Strong 15%(1) operating profit growth, with a 40%(1) drop-through of incremental net fees into operating profit

·      Strong, broad-based 14%(1) net fee growth in Continental Europe & Rest of World; operating profit up 17%(1)

-   Strong net fee growth of 12%(1) in Germany and 14%(1) in France

-   15 further countries delivered net fee growth of over 10%(1), including Poland, Spain and Switzerland

-   Excellent profit growth of £3.6m(1) in the Division outside of Germany

·      UK & Ireland net fee growth of 3%(1); private sector up 4%(1), public sector up 1%(1)

-   Operating profit up 20%(1) to £25.3m with 93%(1) drop-through of incremental net fees into operating profit

-   Markets overall were sequentially stable through the half. We saw low growth in the private sector, and public sector markets became increasingly challenging as the half progressed

·      Solid Asia Pacific net fee growth of 4%(1), with operating profit up 6%(1)

Australia net fees up 3%(1) driven by Perm up 7%(1), as conditions remained mixed, though sequentially stable overall

Asia net fees grew 7%(1), driven by all-time records in Japan, up 8%(1) and China, up 16%(1)

·      Consultant headcount was up 10% year-on-year(5) as we invested where markets and outlook were supportive, notably Europe, Asia and the US, though investment slowed as the half progressed

·      Reduction in operating cash flow driven by higher working capital outflow due to strong growth in European Temp business, the reversal of a c.£20m year-end timing benefit, and phasing of cash flows in December

·      Net debt ended December at £56.1m, down £23m year-on-year. We expect net debt to reduce materially in the second half as we continue to target a net cash position

·      Interim dividend increase of 5%, in line with our strategy to build full year cover towards 3.0x earnings


Commenting on the results Alistair Cox, Chief Executive, said:

"This is a strong first half performance as we converted good 8%(1) net fee growth into 15%(1) profit growth. Market conditions remained good in many areas, particularly Europe, but growth slowed toward the end of the half in the UK and Australia as increased global uncertainty impacted sentiment. Against this backdrop, we successfully balanced further investment with improved business efficiency to deliver excellent operating leverage and a further improvement in our sector leading conversion of net fees into profits.

This balanced approach sets our performance apart. We invested quickly wherever market conditions and outlook were supportive. As a result we delivered 18 record first half net fee performances, including Germany, France, China and Japan. In the UK, we grew net fees by 3%(1) and improved business productivity to drive exceptional profit leverage. In Australia, although conditions remained mixed we delivered further net fee and profit growth.

Looking ahead, we are mindful of increasing global uncertainties, but remain positive and see many opportunities to grow. Our business has the scale, diversity, people and technology to capture the many long-term opportunities available to us, while at the same time being nimble enough to respond to fast-changing conditions to maximise profit and cash generation along the way."

 

(1)  LFL (like-for-like) growth represents organic growth of continuing operations at constant currency, excluding Veredus.

(2)  The underlying Temp gross margin is calculated as Temp net fees divided by Temp gross revenue and relates solely to Temp 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 and arrangements where the Company provides major payrolling services.

(3)  Exchange rate as at 19 February 2016: £1 / €1.2917; £1 / AUD2.0042.

(4)  Average consultant headcount for the six months ended 31 December 2015 compared to the average consultant headcount for the six months ended 31 December 2014.

(5)  Consultant headcount has been restated to include 149 resource analysts previously not reported as consultants in Germany and Switzerland.


Enquiries

Hays plc

 

 

Paul Venables

Group Finance Director

+ 44 (0) 20 7383 2266

David Walker

Head of Investor Relations

+ 44 (0) 20 7383 2266

 

 

 

Bell Pottinger

 

 

Gavin Davis / Elly Williamson

 

+ 44 (0) 20 3772 2591

 

Results presentation & webcast

The results presentation will take place at the offices of UBS at 1 Finsbury Avenue, London, EC2M 2PP at 9am on 24 February 2016 and will also be available as a live webcast on our website, www.haysplc.com/investors/results-centre. A recording of the webcast will be available on our website later the same day along with a copy of this press release and all presentation materials.

Reporting calendar

Interim Management Statement for quarter ending 31 March 2016

14 April 2016

Trading Update for quarter ending 30 June 2016

14 July 2016

Preliminary Results for year ending 30 June 2016

1 September 2016

Interim Management Statement for quarter ending 30 September 2016

12 October 2016

 

 

Hays Group Overview

Hays has 9,420 employees in 248 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 which presents substantial long-term structural growth opportunities. This has been a key driver of the rapid diversification and internationalisation of the Group, with the International business representing 65% of the Group's net fees as at 31 December 2015, compared with around 30% 10 years ago.

Our 6,454 consultants work in a broad range of sectors, with Accountancy & Finance, Construction & Property and IT representing 51% of Group net fees. 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, the Group's net fees are generated 58% from temporary and 42% permanent placement markets, and this balance gives our business model relative resilience.

This well diversified business model continues to be a key driver of the Group's financial performance.

Introduction & market backdrop

We have delivered a strong Group financial performance for the first half, with strong operating profit growth(1). Net fees increased 8% on a like-for-like basis(1) and 3% on a headline basis. Operating profit increased 15% on a like-for-like basis(1) and 6% on a headline basis and the Group's sector-leading Conversion Rate (the conversion of Net Fees into Operating Profit) increased to 21.7 % (2014: 21.2%). The drop through of incremental net fees into incremental operating profits was 40%, and the Group's net debt position reduced by £23 million year-on-year to £56.1 million.

Through the half, the market backdrop overall became more uncertain as sentiment weakened. We saw increased macro-economic risk impact client and candidate confidence in certain markets, notably the UK and Australia as the half progressed but elsewhere many clear growth opportunities remained, notably in Europe and parts of Asia. Against this backdrop, these results reflect our selective investment to capitalise on these growth opportunities, as well as our focus on driving improved consultant productivity and cost control around the Group to maximise the Group's operating leverage, profit and cash generation.

Foreign exchange

Currency movements versus sterling represented a significant headwind for our reported performance. Over the course of the half, the total combined operating profit impact of exchange movements was £6.8 million negative. If current rates of exchange were to remain unchanged for the remainder of the financial year, the impact on the full year reported operating profit performance would be c.£7 million negative.

Fluctuations in the rates of the Group's key operating currencies versus sterling continue to represent a significant sensitivity for the reported performance of our business. By way of illustration, each 1 cent movement in annual exchange rates of the Australian dollar and Euro impacts net fees by £0.6 million and £1.8 million respectively per annum; and operating profits by £0.2 million and £0.6 million respectively per annum.

The rate of exchange between the Australian dollar and sterling over the six months ended 31 December 2015 averaged AUD 2.122 and closed at AUD 2.0261. As at 19 February 2016 the rate stood at AUD2.0042. The rate of exchange between the Euro and sterling over the six months ended 31 December 2015 averaged €1.389 and closed at €1.3573. As at 19 February 2016 the rate stood at €1.2917.

Good growth across the Temp and Perm businesses

Net fees in Temp, which represented 58% of Group net fees, increased by 8%(1). This comprised a volume increase of 6%, and an increase in mix/hours worked of 4%. Partially offsetting this, underlying Temp margins(2) were down 30bps at 16.3% (2014: 16.6%), primarily as a result of a reduction in the overall Temp margin in Australia & New Zealand. 

Net fees in Perm also increased by 8%(1), as volumes increased 7%, and average fee per placement increased 1%.

Movements in consultant headcount

Consultant headcount(5) ended December at 6,454, up 10% year-on-year and up 6% in the first half. In Asia Pacific, consultant headcount was up 8% year-on-year, within which Australia consultant headcount was up 3% but was flat versus June 2015, reflecting the overall stability of that market. In Asia, consultant headcount increased by 17% year-on-year after we invested significantly to drive growth in that region, notably in China and Japan. In the UK & Ireland consultant headcount was up 2%, although was flat through the first half, as market conditions and outlook became more uncertain. In our Continental Europe & Rest of World (RoW) division we increased consultant headcount by 16% year-on-year, including Germany which was up 18% and the US which was up 23%.

Consultant headcount

31 Dec
2015

Net change
(vs. 31 Dec
2014)

31 Dec
2014

30 Jun
2015

Asia Pacific

1,232

90

1,142

1,195

Continental Europe & RoW(5)

3,015

422

2,593

2,715

United Kingdom & Ireland

          2,207

52

2,155

2,203

Group total(5)

6,454

564

5,890

6,113

 

Office network changes & global specialism roll-out

Our focus through the first half remained on building scale and critical mass across our existing platform of 33 countries. We continued to make further good progress in rolling out our IT Contracting business into markets such as Belgium and France. During the first half we opened 9 new offices across the Group, including Denver, our 13th office in the USA, Amiens and Grenoble in France and Hannover in Germany.

Office network

31 Dec

2015

Net opened/ (closed)

30 Jun   2015

Asia Pacific

48

3

45

Continental Europe & RoW

102

6

96

United Kingdom & Ireland

          98

(1)

99

Group

248

8

240

 

Investing in technology, responding to change and building intellectual property

We strongly believe that equipping our consultants with evolving technology tools improves their productivity by enabling them to find the ideal candidate for their client's roles more quickly and effectively than the competition.

To build these tools, we have invested internally in our own resources, built our own proprietary systems and fostered unique relationships with important players in the technology world including Google, LinkedIn and more recently SEEK in Australia. These investments are now paying off, for example allowing us to receive and process over 8 million CVs a year, take our brand to over 340 million professionals globally via the LinkedIn platform and enabling our consultants to perform complex searches of our proprietary OneTouch database in seconds.

In a world where speed of response and the quality of relationships are key to success, these tools, combined with the world-class expertise of our consultants, are generating a real competitive advantage and improving both our financial performance and the growth in our market share and leadership.

Asia Pacific

Australia remained mixed but overall sequentially stable; further good performance in Asia overall

 

 

 

 

Growth

Six months ended 31 December

 (In £'s million)


2015


2014

 


Actual


LFL(1)

Net fees

84.4

91.4

 

(8)%

4%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating profit

23.2

25.2

 

(8)%

6%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conversion rate

27.5%

27.6%

 

 

 

Period end consultant headcount

1,232

1,142

 

8%

 

 

In Asia Pacific, net fees increased 4%(1) (though decreased by 8% on a headline basis) to £84.4 million and operating profit was up 6%(1) (though down 8% on a headline basis) at £23.2 million, representing a conversion rate of 27.5% (2014: 27.6%). The difference between headline growth and like-for-like growth rates is primarily the result of the material depreciation in the rate of exchange between the Australian Dollar and Japanese Yen versus Sterling during the half, which reduced net fees in the division by £10.2 million and operating profits by £3.4 million. Prevailing rates of exchange, particularly the Australian dollar, continue to represent a significant sensitivity for the reported performance of the division.

In Australia & New Zealand net fees were up 3%(1) and operating profit was up 5%(1) as conditions remained subdued, though broadly stable through the half. Our Temp business, which represented 65% of net fees, grew by 1%(1), whilst Perm net fees increased by 7%(1). In Australia we delivered solid net fee growth of 3%(1). Growth in New South Wales and Victoria, which together accounted for 56% of net fees was 14%(1) whilst Queensland was flat(1), and our public sector business was strong throughout the half, growing 19%(1) and driving growth in ACT of 28%(1). Partially offsetting these supportive markets, conditions in the mining-focused region of Western Australia remained tough and net fees were down 36%(1), contributing to overall private sector net fees being down 3%(1). Excluding Western Australia, net fees in Australia were up 12%(1), with activity led by the technical specialisms as Construction & Property, our largest specialism, delivered strong growth of 8%(1) and IT grew by 5%(1). New Zealand grew by 1%(1).

In Asia, which accounted for 25% of the division's net fees, we delivered good net fee growth of 7%(1) and strong operating profit growth of 14%(1) to £2.8 million. In Japan, net fees increased by 8%(1) and market conditions were good throughout the half as we delivered a record first half net fee and profit performance. Net fees in China grew 16%(1), Hong Kong saw growth of 1%(1) and in Malaysia we delivered strong growth of 19%(1). Net fees in Singapore were down 2%(1).

Consultant headcount in the Asia Pacific division increased by 8% year-on-year. Consultant headcount in Australia & New Zealand increased by 3%. In Asia, consultant headcount increased by 17% as we invested to drive growth and capitalise on supportive market conditions across the region.

  

Continental Europe & Rest of World

Record performance in Germany following significant investment; excellent net fee and operating profit growth in rest of the division

 

 

 

 

Growth

Six months ended 31 December

 (In £'s million)


2015


2014

 


Actual


LFL(1)

Net fees

         173.1

         157.4

 

10%

14%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating profit

           37.8

           35.2

 

7%

17%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conversion rate

21.8%

22.4%

 

 

 

Period end consultant headcount(5)

3,015

2,593

 

16%

 

 

In Continental Europe & RoW, we delivered strong net fee growth of 10% (14% on a like-for-like basis(1)) to £173.1 million, driving strong operating profit growth of 7% (17% on a like-for-like basis(1)) to £37.8 million. The difference between actual and like-for-like growth rates is primarily the result of the depreciation in the rate of exchange between the Euro versus Sterling during the half, which reduced net fees by £14.2 million and operating profit by £3.3 million. The conversion rate of the division decreased to 21.8% (2014: 22.4%) as we invested significantly in the US to set up our Construction & Property business and expand our IT Contracting business.

Germany, which represented 49% of the division's net fees, delivered strong net fee growth of 12%(1) and a record first half net fee performance. We saw strong growth across Contracting and Temp, which together grew by 11%(1), and strong growth of 16%(1) in Perm. We saw strong growth in our newer specialisms, which now represent 27% of German net fees, particularly Accountancy & Finance, which grew 16%(1). Net fees in IT, which represents 41% of our German business, grew by 14%(1) whilst net fees in Engineering increased by 9%(1). Through the half, we invested significantly in consultant headcount in Germany, up 18% year-on-year to 1,201. The additions focused primarily on the IT and Engineering specialisms and mid-sized client base. Despite this strategic investment, first half profit growth in Germany was good, and it remains the largest profit contributor in the Group.

Across the rest of the Division, net fees were up 17%(1) and operating profit increased by £3.6 million(1). This was driven by an excellent performance across Europe, including France, our second largest business in Europe, which delivered record first half net fees and growth of 14%(1), a strong performance against the backdrop of a market which remained subdued throughout the half. Elsewhere, 12 other countries delivered record first half net fee performances, including Belgium, Poland and Switzerland and we saw a continuation of the strong recovery of our businesses in Southern Europe.

In North America, Canada net fees declined by 4%(1) and our US business, incorporating Veredus, performed broadly in line with expectations and we continue to make significant strategic progress. We have invested to increase consultant headcount and management strength, and remain focused on establishing Construction & Property and Perm to supplement our core IT Contracting business. During the quarter, we opened our 13th US office, in Denver. In Latin America, Chile, Colombia and Mexico all delivered strong double digit growth, although Brazil remained challenging and net fees were down 16%(1).

 

Consultant headcount in the division increased by 16%(5) year-on-year, driven by the Germany investment discussed above. Elsewhere, we invested aggressively in those markets which demonstrated clear growth opportunities, many of which showed sustained recovery after having been challenging for some time, for example Spain where consultant headcount was up 26%. Consultant headcount in our US business, incorporating Veredus, was up 23% year-on-year.

United Kingdom & Ireland

Further excellent operating profit leverage despite slowing growth through the half

 

 

 

 

 

Growth

Six months ended 31 December

 (In £'s million)


2015


2014

 


Actual


LFL(1)

Net fees

         139.4

135.1

 

3%

3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating profit

           25.3

21.1

 

20%

20%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conversion rate

18.1%

15.6%

 

 

 

Period end consultant headcount

2,207

2,155

 

2%

 

 

The United Kingdom & Ireland delivered net fee growth of 3%(1) to £139.4 million and excellent operating profit growth of 20%(1) to £25.3 million, representing a conversion rate of 18.1% (2014: 15.6%). Our Temp business delivered growth of 3%(1), and Perm grew 4%(1). We saw more uncertainty across the UK market as the half progressed, as increased risks regarding the macro economic outlook impacted negatively on private sector client and candidate sentiment, particularly toward the end of the half. Compounding this, conditions became increasingly challenging in the public sector, particularly in local Government and Healthcare focused markets.

Against this backdrop, overall activity levels were broadly sequentially stable across the half, though we overlapped more challenging comparators, notably in the second quarter. We saw more robust market conditions in the private sector, which represented 71% of the division's net fees and grew by 4%(1) than in the public sector, which grew by 1%(1).

By region, conditions were broadly sequentially stable in London City and East of England, which grew by 3% and 4% respectively and elsewhere growth in the Midlands and North West was good at 6% and 7%.  In Scotland and the North net fees declined 1% and 3%. Activity levels in our London ex-City business remained good, with net fees up 6% and Ireland delivered excellent net fee growth of 27%(1).

At the specialism level, IT and Office Support both delivered good growth of 9%(1), Construction & Property was up 5%(1), whilst net fees in our largest specialism of Accountancy & Finance were flat(1). Within the latter two specialisms however, we saw markedly different trends within the public and private sectors, with private sector Accountancy & Finance up 2%(1) while public sector was down 14%(1) and private sector Construction & Property up 10%(1) while public sector was down 8%(1).

Despite the slowdown in the rate of net fee growth through the half, we delivered further excellent growth in profitability driven by continued improvement in the productivity of our consultants, up 1%, continued strong cost control and the ongoing benefits of our largely automated back office platform. These factors combined generated the exceptional 93%(1) drop-through of incremental net fee growth into operating profit.

Consultant headcount in the division was up 2% year-on-year but was flat through the half as we controlled costs in response to slower growth.

 

Current trading & return to work

Continuation of the trends we saw at the end of H1 across the Group; return to work in temp and contractor markets mixed but solid overall

We continue to see mixed conditions overall, and the return to work in key Temp and Contractor markets has been mixed but solid overall. 

The timing of Easter, which this year falls entirely into Q3 will have an impact on the phasing of activity between the 3rd and 4th quarters, most notably in the major Temp and Contractor businesses. We expect Easter to reduce Q3 net fee growth by c.2%, net of the positive impact of the extra leap-year day, with a commensurate increase in Q4. The impact on a regional level will be c.1-2% in Asia Pacific, c.3-4% in Continental Europe & RoW and c.1-2% in the UK & Ireland.

Asia Pacific

We continue to see sequentially stable activity levels in Australia overall, with solid growth in our core businesses of New South Wales and Victoria, and strong growth in the public sector recruitment markets. Conditions in Western Australia and resource-focused businesses remain tough, but broadly stable. The return to work in our Temp and Contractor business has been solid and in line with the prior year levels. New Zealand is solid and growth is good across Asia overall.

We expect minimal headcount increases through the second half of the year, with broadly flat headcount in Australia & New Zealand.

Continental Europe & RoW

In Continental Europe & RoW, growth remains strong overall. In Germany we continue to see strong growth, and the return to work in our Temp and Contractor business was good. In the rest of Europe, conditions remain strong.

Conditions in the Americas continue to vary with challenging conditions in Canada and, notably, Brazil but supportive conditions across our other Latin American businesses. The US business has begun the second half strongly.

We expect headcount in the division to increase on a selective basis in the second half of the year.

United Kingdom & Ireland

In the UK & Ireland conditions remain uncertain, notably in the public sector markets. The return to work in our Temp and Contractor business was in line with our expectations overall, but 4% lower than in the prior year, primarily due to strong comparatives. The private sector was flat on last year and public sector temp numbers are stable versus pre-Christmas levels, but 10% lower than the strong return to work we experienced in that market last year. We have seen slightly lower activity levels in our Perm business at the start of the second half. 

We expect headcount will remain broadly flat through the second half of the year.

  

FINANCIAL REVIEW

Summary Income Statement

 

 

 

 

        Growth

Six months ended 31 December

 (In £'s million)


2015


2014

 

Actual

LFL(1)

Turnover

2,043.9

1,912.0

 

7%

13%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net fees

 

 

 

 

 

  Temporary

230.1

222.9

 

3%

8%

  Permanent

166.8

161.0

 

4%

8%

  Total

396.9

383.9

 

3%

8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating profit from continuing operations

86.3

81.5

 

6%

15%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conversion rate

21.7%

21.2%

 

 

 

Underlying temporary margin (2)

16.3%

16.6%

 

 

 

Temporary fees as % of total

58%

58%

 

 

 

Period end consultant headcount(5)

6,454

5,890

 

10%

 

 

(1)  LFL (like-for-like) growth represents organic growth of continuing operations at constant currency, excluding Veredus.

(2)  The underlying Temp gross margin is calculated as Temp net fees divided by Temp gross revenue and relates solely to Temp 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 and arrangements where the Company provides major payrolling services.

(3)  Exchange rate as at 19 February 2016: £1 / €1.2917; £1 / AUD2.0042.

(4)  Average consultant headcount for the six months ended 31 December 2015 compared to the average consultant headcount for the six months ended 31 December 2014.

(5)  Consultant headcount has been restated to include 149 resource analysts previously not reported as consultants in Germany and Switzerland.


Turnover for the six months to 31 December 2015 was up 7% (13% on a like-for-like basis(1)) and net fees increased by 3% (8% on a like-for-like basis(1)). Operating profit increased by 6% (15% on a like-for-like basis(1)). Exchange rate movements decreased net fees and operating profit by £24.7 million and £6.8 million respectively, primarily as a result of a material depreciation in the rate of exchange of the major currencies to which the Group has exposure versus Sterling, most notably the Australian dollar and the Euro. Currency fluctuations remain significant sensitivities for the Group.

Operating costs were 3% higher than prior year (6% higher on a like-for-like basis(1)), primarily due to a rise in commission payments in line with net fees and costs associated with the 10%(5) increase in Group consultant headcount.

The Group's conversion rate, which is the proportion of net fees converted into operating profit, improved by 50 basis points to 21.7% (2014: 21.2%). This is as a result of good net fee growth, the on-going benefit of our largely automated back office platform and our continued strong control of operating costs, net of significant investment in Germany and the US.

Consultant headcount(5) at the end of December 2015 was 6,454, up 10% year-on-year and up 6% versus June 2015, as we invested rapidly, but selectively, to ensure we capitalise on stronger markets and clear structural growth opportunities. In our UK & Ireland business consultant headcount was up 2% year-on-year but was flat through the half as we controlled costs in response to changing market conditions. In our International business we increased consultant headcount by 14% year-on-year.  

Net finance charge

The net finance charge for the half was £3.9 million (2014: £4.2 million). The average interest rate on gross debt during the period was 2.0% (2014: 2.8%), generating net bank interest payable including amortisation of arrangement fees of £1.3 million (2014: £2.4 million). The net interest charge on the defined benefit pension scheme obligations was £1.9 million (2014: £1.5 million). The Pension Protection Fund levy was £0.2 million (2014: £0.3 million) and the amortisation of the deferred acquisition liability related to the Veredus transaction was £0.5 million (2014: nil) . For the full year, we expect the net finance charge to be around £7.5 million.

Taxation

Taxation for the half was £25.5 million (2014: £25.9 million), representing an effective tax rate of 31.0% (2014: 33.5%). The effective tax rate reflects the Group's geographical mix of profits, with the reduction in the rate due to the significant increase in profitability in the UK. We expect the effective tax rate to be 31.0% for the full year.

Earnings per share

Basic earnings per share increased by 10% to 3.99 pence (2014: 3.64 pence), reflecting the Group's higher operating profit and lower effective tax rate.

Cash flow and balance sheet

During the half we converted 39% (2014: 96%) of operating profit into operating cash flow. This lower cash conversion was due to (a) the reversal of the c.£20 million positive effect on FY15 of the favourable day upon which the 30 June 2015 fell as explained at the Preliminary results, (b) the impact of the timing of cash flows around Christmas and New Year and (c) the mix of growth in the half, most notably strong growth in our relatively working capital intensive Germany Temp and Contractor businesses. Accordingly trade debtor days increased to 42 days.

Net capital expenditure was £8.0 million (2014: £7.0 million). We expect capital expenditure to be around £15 million for the year to June 2016.

Dividends paid in the half totalled £26.9 million (2014: £25.6 million) and pension deficit contributions were £7.2 million. Net interest paid  was £1.5 million and the cash tax payment was £19.6 million.

Net debt was £56.1 million at the end December 2015 (30 June 2015: £30.7 million; 31 December 2014: £79.2 million), increasing over the first half due to the payment in November of the Group's final dividend of £26.9 million and higher working capital outflow as explained above. We expect net debt to reduce materially in the second half as we continue to target a net cash position.

 

Retirement benefits

The Group's pension liability under IAS19 at 31 December 2015 of £82.7 million increased by £24.0 million compared to 30 June 2015 due primarily to a decrease in the discount rate and a decrease in asset values, partially offset by Company contributions and a decrease in the inflation rate.

 

During the half the Company contributed £7.2 million of cash to the defined benefit scheme (2014: £7.0 million), in line with the agreed deficit recovery plan. The 2012 triennial valuation quantified the actuarial deficit at c.£150 million and the recovery plan comprises an annual payment of £12.8 million from July 2012 with a fixed 3% uplift per year, over a period of just under 10 years. The scheme was closed to future accrual in June 2012 and the result of the most recent valuation, which was based on data as of June 2015, is expected in spring 2016. 

 

Capital structure and dividend

The Board's priorities for our free cash flow are to fund the Group's investment and development, maintain a strong balance sheet and deliver a sustainable core dividend at a level which is both affordable and appropriate.

We target a core dividend cover range of 2.0x to 3.0x full year earnings and our strategy is to build cover towards the upper end of that range. Following the increase in the Group's core dividend in the year to June 2015, and taking into account the strong financial performance of the Group in the first half, the Board is increasing the interim core dividend by 5% to 0.91p per share (2014: 0.87p).

The Board remains committed to this sustainable and progressive dividend policy and will continue to review the core dividend level in line with our stated dividend cover policy. Additionally, we reiterate our policy regarding the uses of excess free cash flow as follows. Once we have built a net cash position in the region of £50 million and assuming a positive outlook, it is our intention that any excess free cash flow generated over-and-above this net cash position, that is not needed for the priorities outlined above, will then be distributed to shareholders via special dividends, or other appropriate methods, to supplement the core dividend.

The interim dividend payment date will be 5 April 2016 and the ex-dividend date is 3 March 2016.

Treasury management

The Group's operations are financed by retained earnings and bank borrowings. The Group has a £210 million revolving credit facility which provides considerable headroom versus current and future expected levels of Group debt and matures in April 2020. The covenants require the Group's interest cover ratio to be at least 4:1 (December 2015: 53:1) and its leverage ratio (net debt to EBITDA) to be no greater than 2.5:1 (December 2015: 0.3:1). As can be seen, the Group has significant headroom with these covenants.

All borrowings are raised by the Group's UK-based treasury department, which manages the Group's treasury risk in accordance with policies set by the Board. The Group's treasury department does not engage in speculative transactions and does not operate as a profit centre.

Counterparty risk primarily arises from the investment of any surplus funds. The Group restricts transactions to banks and money market funds that have an acceptable credit profile and limits exposure to each institution.

Board changes

Richard Smelt retired as a Non-Executive Director of the Company at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting held on 11 November 2015.

Mary Teresa (MT) Rainey joined the Board as an independent Non-executive Director on 14 December 2015 and will be a member of the Audit, Remuneration and Nomination Committees. MT is an experienced media and advertising professional, who has worked extensively in the UK and US. She founded the advertising agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, which she grew to a top 20 agency before it was sold to Y&R, a subsidiary of WPP plc, and where she was CEO then Chair until 2005.  MT is a non-executive director of Pinewood Group plc and Channel 4 Television and Chair of the leading digital strategy agency Th_nk Ltd.

Principal risks facing the business

Hays plc operates an embedded risk management framework, which is monitored and reviewed by the Board. There are a number of potential risks and uncertainties that could have a material impact on the Group's financial performance and position. These include risks relating to the cyclical nature of our business, business model, talent recruitment and retention, compliance, reliance on technology, data governance, contracts and foreign exchange. These risks and our mitigating actions remain as set out in the 2015 Annual Report.

Responsibility Statement

We confirm that, to the best of our knowledge:

§ the unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements have been presented in accordance with IAS 34 "Interim Financial Reporting" as adopted by the European Union and give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit for the Group;

§ the interim management report includes a fair review of the information required by DTR 4.2.7R (indication of important events during the first six months of the financial year and their impact on the condensed financial statements, and description of principal risks and uncertainties for the remaining six months of the financial year); and

§ the interim management report includes a fair review of the information required by DTR 4.2.8R (disclosure of related parties' transactions in the first six months of the financial year and any changes in the related parties transactions described in the last annual report).

 

This Half Year Report was approved by the Board of Directors and authorised for issue on 23 February 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

Alistair Cox                                                                                                      Paul Venables

Chief Executive                                                                                      Group Finance Director

Hays plc

250 Euston Road

London

NW1 2AF

haysplc.com/investors

Cautionary statement

This Half Year Report (the "Report") has been prepared in accordance with the Disclosure Rules and Transparency Rules of the UK Financial Conduct 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 contained 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 shall not be placed on any forward-looking statement. Additionally, forward-looking statements regarding past trends or activities shall 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 shall 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 it 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, advisors 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.

 

 

 

Independent Review Report to Hays plc

 

Introduction

We have been engaged by the Company to review the condensed set of financial statements in the half-yearly financial report for the six months ended 31 December 2015 which comprises the consolidated income statement, the consolidated statement of comprehensive income, the consolidated balance sheet, the consolidated statement of changes in equity, the consolidated cash flow statement and related notes 1 to 12. We have read the other information contained in the half-yearly financial report and considered whether it contains any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies with the information in the condensed set of financial statements.

 

This report is made solely to the Company in accordance with International Standard on Review Engagements (UK and Ireland) 2410 "Review of Interim Financial Information Performed by the Independent Auditor of the Entity" issued by the Auditing Practices Board. Our work has been undertaken so that we might state to the Company those matters we are required to state to it in an independent review report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the Company, for our review work, for this report, or for the conclusions we have formed.

 

Directors' responsibilities

The half-yearly financial report is the responsibility of, and has been approved by, the directors. The directors are responsible for preparing the half-yearly financial report in accordance with the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority.

 

As disclosed in note 1, the annual financial statements of the Group are prepared in accordance with IFRSs as adopted by the European Union. The condensed set of financial statements included in this half-yearly financial report has been prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standard 34, "Interim Financial Reporting," as adopted by the European Union.

 

Our responsibility

Our responsibility is to express to the Company a conclusion on the condensed set of financial statements in the half-yearly financial report based on our review.

 

Scope of review

We conducted our review in accordance with International Standard on Review Engagements (UK and Ireland) 2410 "Review of Interim Financial Information Performed by the Independent Auditor of the Entity" issued by the Auditing Practices Board for use in the United Kingdom. A review of interim financial information consists of making inquiries, primarily of persons responsible for financial and accounting matters, and applying analytical and other review procedures. A review is substantially less in scope than an audit conducted in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) and consequently does not enable us to obtain assurance that we would become aware of all significant matters that might be identified in an audit. Accordingly, we do not express an audit opinion.

 

Conclusion

Based on our review, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the condensed set of financial statements in the half-yearly financial report for the six months ended 31 December 2015 is not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with International Accounting Standard 34 as adopted by the European Union and the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority.

 

 

 

Deloitte LLP

Chartered Accountants and Statutory Auditor

London, England

23 February 2016

 

Condensed Consolidated Income Statement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six months to

Six months to

Year to

 

 

31 December

31 December

30 June

 

 

2015

2014

2015

(In £'s million)

Note

(unaudited)

(unaudited)

(audited)

Turnover

 

 

 

 

Continuing operations

 

2,043.9

1,912.0

3,842.8

Net fees (1)

 

 

 

 

Continuing operations

2

396.9

383.9

764.2

Operating profit from continuing operations

2

86.3

81.5

164.1

Finance income

3

0.3

0.3

0.5

Finance cost

3

 (4.2)

 (4.5)

 (8.5)

Profit before tax

 

82.4

77.3

156.1

Tax

 

4

 (25.5)

 (25.9)

 (50.7)

Profit from continuing operations after tax

 

56.9

51.4

105.4

Profit from discontinued operations

 

-

-

0.2

Profit attributable to equity holders of the parent Company

 

56.9

51.4

105.6

Earnings per share from continuing operations

 

 

 

 

 

 - Basic

6

3.99p

3.64p

7.44p

 

 - Diluted

6

3.94p

3.59p

7.31p

Earnings per share from continuing and discontinued operations

 

 

 

 

 

 - Basic

6

3.99p

3.64p

7.46p

 

 - Diluted

6

3.94p

3.59p

7.33p

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) Net fees comprise turnover less remuneration of temporary workers and other recruitment agencies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six months to

Six months to

Year to

 

 

 

31 December

31 December

30 June

 

 

 

2015

2014

2015

(In £'s million)

 

(unaudited)

(unaudited)

(audited)

Profit for the period

 

56.9

51.4

105.6

Items that will not be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:

 

 

 

 

Actuarial remeasurement of defined benefit pension schemes

 

 (29.3)

 (54.5)

 (25.8)

Tax relating to components of other comprehensive income

 

5.7

11.1

6.3

 

 

(23.6)

(43.4)

(19.5)

Items that may be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:

 

 

 

 

Currency translation adjustments

 

11.6

 (7.8)

 (31.3)

Mark to market valuation of derivative financial instruments

 

-

0.1

0.1

Other comprehensive income for the period net of tax

 

(12.0)

(51.1)

(50.7)

Total comprehensive income for the period

 

44.9

0.3

54.9

Attributable to equity shareholders of the parent Company

 

44.9

0.3

54.9

               

 

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

31 December

31 December

30 June

 

 

 

2015

2014

2015

(In £'s million)

Note

(unaudited)

(unaudited)

(audited)

Non-current assets

 

 

 

 

Goodwill

 

204.3

206.2

198.4

Other intangible assets

 

24.5

32.6

29.8

Property, plant and equipment

 

18.0

17.1

15.6

Deferred tax assets

 

36.3

44.8

36.4

 

 

 

283.1

300.7

280.2

Current assets

 

 

 

 

Trade and other receivables

 

628.6

533.6

600.5

Cash and cash equivalents

 

64.4

56.5

69.8

 

 

 

693.0

590.1

670.3

Total assets

 

976.1

890.8

950.5

Current liabilities

 

 

 

 

Trade and other payables

 

 (435.2)

 (394.9)

 (478.7)

Current tax liabilities

 

 (20.1)

 (23.2)

 (19.5)

Bank loans and overdrafts

 

 (0.5)

 (0.7)

 (0.5)

Provisions

8

 (2.9)

 (3.1)

 (3.0)

 

 

 

 (458.7)

 (421.9)

 (501.7)

Non-current liabilities

 

 

 

 

Bank loans

 

 (120.0)

 (135.0)

 (100.0)

Acquisition liabilities

 

 (9.7)

 (8.2)

 (8.6)

Retirement benefit obligations

7

 (82.7)

 (92.9)

 (58.7)

Provisions

8

 (11.9)

 (12.0)

 (11.9)

 

 

 

 (224.3)

 (248.1)

 (179.2)

Total liabilities

 

 (683.0)

 (670.0)

 (680.9)

Net assets

 

293.1

220.8

269.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity

 

 

 

 

 

Called up share capital

 

14.7

14.7

14.7

Share premium

 

369.6

369.6

369.6

Capital redemption reserve

 

2.7

2.7

2.7

Retained earnings

 

 (123.3)

 (206.6)

 (138.2)

Cumulative translation reserve

 

13.7

25.6

2.1

Other reserves

 

15.7

14.8

18.7

Total shareholders' equity

 

293.1

220.8

269.6

 

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity

 

 

For the six months ended 31 December 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(In £'s million)

Share capital

Share premium account

Capital redemption reserve

Retained earnings

Cumulative translation reserve

Other  reserves

Total

At 1 July 2015

14.7

369.6

2.7

(138.2)

2.1

18.7

269.6

Currency translation adjustments

-

-

-

-

11.6

-

11.6

Remeasurement of defined benefit pension schemes

-

-

-

(29.3)

-

-

 (29.3)

Tax relating to components of other comprehensive income

-

-

-

5.7

-

-

5.7

Net expense recognised in other comprehensive income

-

-

-

 (23.6)

11.6

-

 (12.0)

Profit for the period

-

-

-

56.9

-

-

56.9

Total comprehensive income for the period

-

-

-

33.3

11.6

-

44.9

Dividends paid

-

-

-

(26.9)

-

-

 (26.9)

Share-based payments

-

-

-

8.5

-

(3.0)

5.5

At 31 December 2015 (unaudited)

14.7

369.6

2.7

(123.3)

13.7

15.7

293.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the six months ended 31 December 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(In £'s million)

Share capital

Share premium account

Capital redemption reserve

Retained earnings

Cumulative translation reserve

Other  reserves

Total

At 1 July 2014

14.7

369.6

2.7

(197.7)

33.4

18.0

240.7

Currency translation adjustments

-

-

-

-

(7.8)

-

 (7.8)

Mark to market valuation of derivative financial instruments

-

-

-

-

-

0.1

0.1

Remeasurement of defined benefit pension schemes

-

-

-

(54.5)

-

-

 (54.5)

Tax relating to components of other comprehensive income

-

-

-

11.1

-

-

11.1

Net expense recognised in other comprehensive income

-

-

-

 (43.4)

 (7.8)

0.1

 (51.1)

Profit for the period

-

-

-

51.4

-

-

51.4

Total comprehensive income for the period

-

-

-

8.0

 (7.8)

0.1

0.3

Dividends paid

-

-

-

(25.6)

-

-

 (25.6)

Share-based payments

-

-

-

8.7

-

(3.3)

5.4

At 31 December 2014 (unaudited)

14.7

369.6

2.7

(206.6)

25.6

14.8

220.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the year ended 30 June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(In £'s million)

Share capital

Share premium account

Capital redemption reserve

Retained earnings

Cumulative translation reserve

Other  reserves

Total

At 1 July 2014

14.7

369.6

2.7

(197.7)

33.4

18.0

240.7

Currency translation adjustments

-

-

-

-

(31.3)

-

 (31.3)

Mark to market valuation of derivative financial instruments

-

-

-

-

-

0.1

0.1

Remeasurement of defined benefit pension schemes

-

-

-

(25.8)

-

-

 (25.8)

Tax relating to components of other comprehensive income

-

-

-

6.3

-

-

6.3

Net expense recognised in other comprehensive income

-

-

-

 (19.5)

 (31.3)

0.1

 (50.7)

Profit for the period

-

-

-

105.6

-

-

105.6

Total comprehensive income for the period

-

-

-

86.1

 (31.3)

0.1

54.9

Dividends paid

-

-

-

(37.9)

-

-

 (37.9)

Share-based payments

-

-

-

10.5

-

0.6

11.1

Deferred tax on share-based payment transactions

-

-

-

0.8

-

-

0.8

At 30 June 2015 (audited)

14.7

369.6

2.7

(138.2)

2.1

18.7

269.6

 

Condensed Consolidated Cash Flow Statement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six months to

Six months to

Year to

 

 

 

31 December

31 December

30 June

 

 

 

2015

2014

2015

(In £'s million)

Note

(unaudited)

(unaudited)

(audited)

Operating profit from continuing operations

 

86.3

81.5

164.1

Adjustments for:

 

 

 

 

      Depreciation of property, plant and equipment

 

3.9

4.4

8.7

      Amortisation of intangible fixed assets

 

7.6

7.0

13.7

      Profit on disposal of property, plant and equipment

 

(0.1)

-

-

      Net movements in provisions and other items

 

(0.3)

(0.3)

(0.5)

      Share-based payments

 

6.0

6.0

10.8

 

 

 

17.1

17.1

32.7

Operating cash flow before movement in working capital

 

103.4

98.6

196.8

Changes in working capital

 

(69.5)

(20.1)

(7.1)

Cash generated by operations

 

33.9

78.5

189.7

Pension scheme deficit funding

 

(7.2)

(7.0)

(14.0)

Income taxes paid

 

(19.6)

(19.7)

(43.6)

Net cash inflow from operating activities

 

7.1

51.8

132.1

Investing activities

 

 

 

 

Purchase of property, plant and equipment

 

(6.1)

(4.1)

(7.8)

Proceeds from sales of business and related assets

 

0.1

-

0.2

Purchase of intangible assets

 

(2.0)

(2.9)

(4.3)

Acquisition of subsidiary

 

-

(29.3)

(35.7)

Cash paid in respect of acquisitions made in previous years

 

-

(1.7)

(1.6)

Interest received

 

0.2

0.3

0.5

Net cash used in investing activities

 

(7.8)

(37.7)

(48.7)

Financing activities

 

 

 

 

Interest paid

 

(1.7)

(2.8)

(5.7)

Equity dividends paid

 

(26.9)

(25.6)

(37.9)

Proceeds from exercise of share options

 

0.6

0.3

1.8

Increase/(decrease) in bank loans and overdrafts

 

20.0

25.0

(10.2)

Net cash used in financing activities

 

(8.0)

(3.1)

(52.0)

Net (decrease)/increase in cash and cash equivalents

 

(8.7)

11.0

31.4

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

 

69.8

48.0

48.0

Effect of foreign exchange rate movements

 

3.3

(2.5)

(9.6)

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

9

64.4

56.5

69.8

(In £'s million)

Note

 

 

 

Bank loans and overdrafts at beginning of period

 

(100.5)

(110.7)

(110.7)

(Increase)/decrease in period

 

(20.0)

(25.0)

10.2

Bank loans and overdrafts at end of period

 

 

(120.5)

(135.7)

(100.5)

Net debt at end of period

9

(56.1)

(79.2)

(30.7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity - Other Reserves

For the six months ended 31 December 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Own

Equity

Hedging

 

(In £'s million)

shares

reserve

reserve

Total

At 1 July 2015

-

18.7

-

18.7

Share-based payments

-

(3.0)

-

(3.0)

At 31 December 2015 (unaudited)

-

15.7

-

15.7

 

 

 

 

 

For the six months ended 31 December 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Own

Equity

Hedging

 

(In £'s million)

shares

reserve

reserve

Total

At 1 July 2014

(0.2)

18.3

(0.1)

18.0

Mark to market valuation of derivative financial instruments

-

-

0.1

0.1

Net income recognised in other comprehensive income

-

-

0.1

0.1

Share-based payments

0.1

(3.4)

-

(3.3)

At 31 December 2014 (unaudited)

(0.1)

14.9

-

14.8

 

 

 

 

 

For the year ended 30 June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Own

Equity

Hedging

 

(In £'s million)

shares

reserve

reserve

Total

At 1 July 2014

(0.2)

18.3

(0.1)

18.0

Mark to market valuation of derivative financial instruments

-

-

0.1

0.1

Net income recognised in other comprehensive income

-

-

0.1

0.1

Share-based payments

0.2

0.4

-

0.6

At 30 June 2015 (audited)

-

18.7

-

18.7

 

1

Basis of preparation

The condensed consolidated interim financial statements ("interim financial statements") are the results for the six months ended 31 December 2015. The interim financial statements have been prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") as adopted by the European Union, in accordance with International Accounting Standard 34 'Interim Financial Reporting' and the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Conduct Authority. They are unaudited but have been reviewed by the auditors and their report is attached.

 

 

 

The interim financial statements do not constitute statutory accounts as defined in Section 434 of the Companies Act 2006 as they do not include all of the information required for full statutory accounts. The interim financial statements should be read in conjunction with the statutory accounts for the year ended 30 June 2015, which were prepared in accordance with IFRS as adopted by the European Union and have been filed with the Registrar of Companies. The auditors' report on those accounts was unqualified, did not draw attention to any matters by way of emphasis and did not contain a statement under Section 498 (2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

 

 

Accounting policies

The interim financial statements have been prepared on the basis of the accounting policies and methods of computation applicable for the year ended 30 June 2015. These accounting policies are consistent with those applied in the preparation of the financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2015 except as where stated below.

 

 

 

The fair value of trade receivables, trade payables, financial assets, bank loans and overdraft is not materially different to their book value.

 

 

 

The following are new standards or improvements to existing standards that are mandatory for the first time in the Group's accounting period beginning on 1 July 2015 and no new standards have been early adopted. The Group's December 2015 interim financial statements have adopted these amendments to IFRS with no significant impact on the Group's financial performance or position:

 

 

 

Ÿ

IAS 19 (amendments) Employee Benefits (EU adoption from 1 February 2015)

Ÿ

Annual Improvements to IFRSs 2012 (EU adoption from 1 February 2015)

Ÿ

Annual Improvements to IFRSs 2013 (EU adoption from 1 January 2015)

 

 

 

There have been no alterations made to the accounting policies as a result of considering all of the above amendments that became effective in the period.

 

 

 

 

1

Basis of preparation continued

 

 

 

 

Going concern

 

 

 

 

The Group's business activities, together with the factors likely to effect its future development, performance and financial position, including its cash flows and liquidity position are described in the Half Year Report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Group has an unsecured revolving credit facility of £210 million that expires in April 2020. The Group uses the facility to manage its day-to-day working capital requirements as appropriate. As at 31 December 2015, £90 million of the committed facility was un-drawn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Group's facility, together with internally generated cash flows, will continue to provide sufficient sources of liquidity to fund its current operations, including contractual and commercial commitments, future growth and any proposed dividends. Therefore the Group is well placed to manage its business risks, despite the current uncertain economic outlook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The directors have formed the judgement, at the time of approving the interim financial statements, that there is reasonable expectation that the Group has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. For this reason, the directors continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the interim financial statements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Segmental information

IFRS 8, Operating Segments

 

 

 

 

IFRS 8 requires operating segments to be identified on the basis of internal reports about components of the Group that are regularly reviewed by the chief operating decision maker to allocate resources to the segment and to assess their performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a result, the Group continues to segment the business into three regions, Asia Pacific, Continental Europe & Rest of World, and United Kingdom & Ireland.  There is no material difference between the segmentation of the Group's turnover by geographic origin and destination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Group's continuing operations comprise one class of business, that of qualified, professional and skilled recruitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net fees and profit from continuing operations

 

 

 

 

The Group's Management Board, which is regarded as the chief operating decision maker, uses net fees by segment as its measure of revenue in internal reports rather than use turnover. This is because net fees exclude the remuneration of temporary workers, and payments to other recruitment agencies where the Group acts as principal, which are not considered relevant in allocating resources to segments. The Group's Management Board considers net fees for the purpose of making decisions about allocating resources.  The Group does not report items below operating profit by segment in its internal management reporting.  The full detail of these items can be seen in the Income Statement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net fees and profit from continuing operations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six months to

Six months to

Year to

 

 

 

 

31 December

31 December

30 June

 

 

 

 

2015

2014

2015

(In £'s million)

 

(unaudited)

(unaudited)

(audited)

Net fees

 

 

 

 

Asia Pacific

 

84.4

91.4

178.5

Continental Europe & Rest of World

 

173.1

157.4

313.8

United Kingdom & Ireland

 

139.4

135.1

271.9

 

 

 

 

396.9

383.9

764.2

Operating profit from continuing operations

 

 

 

 

Asia Pacific

 

23.2

25.2

49.7

Continental Europe & Rest of World

 

37.8

35.2

68.7

United Kingdom & Ireland

 

25.3

21.1

45.7

 

 

 

 

86.3

81.5

164.1

                     

 

3

Finance income and finance cost

Finance income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six months to

Six months to

Year to

 

 

 

 

31 December

31 December

30 June

 

 

 

 

2015

2014

2015

(In £'s million)

 

(unaudited)

(unaudited)

(audited)

Interest on bank deposits

 

0.3

0.3

0.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finance cost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six months to

Six months to

Year to

 

 

 

 

31 December

31 December

30 June

 

 

 

 

2015

2014

2015

(In £'s million)

 

(unaudited)

(unaudited)

(audited)

Interest payable on bank loans and overdrafts

 

(1.6)

(2.7)

(4.6)

Interest unwind on acquisition liability

 

 (0.5)

-

(0.4)

Pension Protection Fund levy

 

 (0.2)

 (0.3)

 (0.5)

Net interest on pension obligations

 

(1.9)

(1.5)

(3.0)

 

 

 

 

(4.2)

(4.5)

(8.5)

Net finance charge

 

(3.9)

(4.2)

(8.0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Tax on ordinary activities

The Group's consolidated effective tax rate in respect of continuing operations for the six months to 31 December 2015 is based on the estimated effective tax rate for the full year of 31.0% (31 December 2014: 33.5%, 30 June 2015: 32.5%).

 

 

5

Dividends

The following dividends were paid by the Group and have been recognised as distributions to equity shareholders in the year:

 

 

 

 

Six months to

Six months to

Year to

 

 

 

 

31 December

31 December

30 June

 

 

 

 

2015

2014

2015

(In £'s million)

 

(unaudited)

(unaudited)

(audited)

Final dividend for the year ended 30 June 2014 of 1.80 pence per share

-

25.6

25.6

Interim dividend for the period to 31 December 2014 of 0.87 pence per share

-

-

12.3

Final dividend for the year ended 30 June 2015 of 1.89 pence per share

26.9

-

-

 

 

 

 

26.9

25.6

37.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The interim dividend for the period ended 31 December 2015 of 0.91 pence per share is not included as a liability in the balance sheet as at 31 December 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

Earnings per share

 

 

 

 

Six months to

Six months to

Year to

 

 

 

 

31 December

31 December

30 June

 

 

 

 

2015

2014

2015

(In £'s million)

 

(unaudited)

(unaudited)

(audited)

Earnings from continuing operations

82.4

77.3

156.1

Tax on earnings from continuing operations

(25.5)

(25.9)

(50.7)

Basic earnings

56.9

51.4

105.4

Number of shares (million):

 

 

 

Weighted average number of shares

1,424.7

1,413.5

1,416.4

Dilution effect of share options

18.8

17.0

24.5

Weighted average number of shares used for diluted EPS

1,443.5

1,430.5

1,440.9

From continuing operations:

 

 

 

Basic earnings per share

3.99p

3.64p

7.44p

Diluted earnings per share

3.94p

3.59p

7.31p

From continuing and discontinued operations:

 

 

 

Basic earnings per share

3.99p

3.64p

7.46p

Diluted earnings per share

3.94p

3.59p

7.33p

 

7

Retirement benefit obligations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six months to

Six months to

Year to

 

 

 

 

31 December

31 December

30 June

 

 

 

 

2015

2014

2015

(In £'s million)

 

(unaudited)

(unaudited)

(audited)

Deficit in the scheme brought forward

 

 (58.7)

 (43.9)

 (43.9)

Current service cost

 

 (0.9)

 (0.6)

 (1.3)

Employer contributions

 

7.2

7.0

14.0

Net interest expense

 

 (1.0)

 (0.9)

 (1.7)

Remeasurement of the net defined benefit liability

 

 (29.3)

 (54.5)

 (25.8)

Deficit in the scheme carried forward

 

 (82.7)

 (92.9)

 (58.7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

Provisions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(In £'s million)

 

Property

Other

Total

At 1 July 2015

 

2.9

12.0

14.9

Exchange adjustments

 

-

0.2

0.2

Utilised

 

 

-

 (0.3)

 (0.3)

At 31 December 2015

 

2.9

11.9

14.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current

 

 

 

 

2.9

Non-current

 

 

 

11.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

14.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Provisions relate to continuing and discontinued operations. Property provisions are for rents and other related amounts payable on certain leased properties for periods in which they are not anticipated to be in use by the Group. The leases expire in the current year and the amounts will be paid over this period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other provisions mainly relate to potential warranty claim liabilities arising as a result of the business disposals that were concluded in 2004 and deferred employee benefit provisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

Movement in net debt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 July

Cash

Exchange

31 December

(In £'s million)

2015

flow

movement

2015

Cash and cash equivalents

69.8

(8.7)

3.3

64.4

Bank loans and overdrafts

 (100.5)

(20.0)

-

 (120.5)

Net debt

 

(30.7)

(28.7)

3.3

(56.1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The table above is presented as additional information to show movement in net debt, defined as cash and cash equivalents less bank loans and overdrafts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Group's £210 million unsecured revolving credit facility expires in April 2020. The financial covenants 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 interest rate of the facility is based on a ratchet mechanism with a margin payable over LIBOR in the range of 0.90% to 1.55%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As at 31 December 2015, £90 million of the committed facility was un-drawn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

Events after the balance sheet date

 

 

 

 

There are no significant events after the balance sheet date to report.

 

 

 

               

 

11

Like-for-like results

 

 

 

 

Like-for-like results represent organic growth of continuing activities at constant currency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the six months ended 31 December 2015 these are calculated as follows:

 

 

(In £'s million)

 

 

 

 

Net fees for the six months ended 31 December 2014

 

 

 

383.9

Foreign exchange impact

 

 

 

(24.7)

Net fees for the six months ended 31 December 2014 at constant currency

 

359.2

Net fee increase resulting from organic growth

 

 

 

28.0

Net fee increase resulting from acquisition

 

 

 

9.7

Net fees for the six months ended 31 December 2015

 

 

 

396.9

Profit from operations for the six months ended 31 December 2014

 

81.5

Foreign exchange impact

 

 

 

(6.8)

Profit from operations for the six months ended 31 December 2014 at constant currency

 

74.7

Profit from operations increase resulting from organic growth

 

 

 

11.1

Profit from operations increase resulting from acquisition

 

 

 

0.5

Profit from operations for the six months ended 31 December 2015

 

 

86.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

Like-for-like results H1 analysis by division

 

 

 

 

Net fee growth versus same period last year

 

Q1

Q2

H1

 

 

 

 

2016

2016

2016

Asia Pacific

 

6%

1%

4%

Continental Europe & Rest of World

 

11%

16%

14%

United Kingdom & Ireland

 

6%

1%

3%

Group

 

 

8%

7%

8%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H1 2016 is the period from 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015.

 

 

 

 

The Q1 and Q2 net fee like-for-like growth percentages are as reported in the Q1 and the Q2 Quarterly Update.

 

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
END
 
 
IR BRGDDXDDBGLX

a d v e r t i s e m e n t