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Healthcare

BRIEF-Hays Targets £200 Mln Equity Placing As Virus Hits Fees

April 2 (Reuters) - Hays PLC:

* HAYS PLC - TRADING UPDATE & EQUITY PLACING

* HAYS PLC - EQUITY PLACING TARGETING GROSS PROCEEDS OF APPROXIMATELY £200 MILLION

* HAYS PLC - TRADING BETWEEN 1 JANUARY AND 13 MARCH WAS IN LINE WITH OUR EXPECTATIONS, WITH LIKE-FOR-LIKE NET FEES DOWN C.5% YEAR-ON-YEAR

* HAYS PLC - RAPIDLY ESCALATING IMPACT OF COVID-19 HAS DRIVEN A VERY MATERIAL DECELERATION IN CLIENT AND CANDIDATE ACTIVITY

* HAYS PLC - TO DATE, ACROSS MAJOR MARKETS, COVID IMPACT HAS BEEN FELT MOST IN EUROPE, AND LEAST IN AUSTRALIA

* HAYS - PERMANENT RECRUITMENT (C.42% GROUP FEES) HAS SEEN MORE OF AN IMPACT THAN TEMPORARY (C.58% GROUP FEES)

* HAYS PLC - PRIVATE SECTOR (C.83% GROUP FEES) HAS BEEN MORE IMPACTED THAN PUBLIC SECTOR (C.17% OF GROUP FEES)

* HAYS PLC - OPERATING PROFIT FOR YEAR TO 30 JUNE 2020 IS LIKELY TO BE MATERIALLY BELOW £190M CONSENSUS AVERAGE

* HAYS PLC - BOARD HAS TAKEN DECISION TO CANCEL 1.11P PER SHARE INTERIM DIVIDEND

* HAYS PLC - ACTIONS TO MANAGE COST BASE INCLUDE STOPPING ALL HIRING AND APPROPRIATELY MANAGING HEADCOUNT, REDUCING SENIOR MANAGEMENT PAY,

* HAYS PLC - EXPLORING OTHER FINANCING OPTIONS SUCH AS GOVERNMENT SCHEMES ACROSS WORLD, INCLUDING BEING AT AN ADVANCED STAGE IN SEEKING ACCESS TO CCFF

* HAYS - MODELLED A STRESSED SCENARIO WITH IMMEDIATE DECLINES IN NET FEES OF C.70% YEAR-ON-YEAR DURING INITIAL ‘LOCKDOWN’ PHASE ASSUMED TO BE 4 MONTHS

* HAYS PLC - EXPECTS TO MEET ITS COVENANT THRESHOLDS AS AT 30 JUNE 2020

* HAYS PLC - MODELLED A GRADUAL REDUCTION IN DOWNTURN SUCH THAT NET FEES ARE C.35% DOWN YOY BY END OF DECEMBER 2020 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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