NEW YORK, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Hudson Highland Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: HHGP), today announced that it has lowered guidance for 2005. The company now expects 2005 full-year EBITDA to range from $27 to $30 million, revised from $30 to $34 million. The reduction stems from hiring demand softness that surfaced during the quarter in Hudson Australia, New Zealand and North America. Hudson Australia has been adversely affected by hiring freezes from certain key clients. Hudson New Zealand has been adversely affected by general economic uncertainty, partially from the reaction to the recent election. In local currency, Hudson Australia/New Zealand gross margin was up 4.5 percent during the first nine months of 2005 compared with the year ago period, but has been down 1.6 percent through the first two months of the fourth quarter. Despite good revenue growth overall, Hudson North America experienced softer-than-expected demand and contract pricing pressure in the IT and Accounting & Finance practice groups. During the first nine months of 2005, revenue was up 39.4 percent compared with the year ago period, and through the first two months of the fourth quarter, revenue is up 20.4 percent. "I'm disappointed with the fourth quarter reduction against expectations, however, the company has made excellent progress during 2005 and we expect to approximate a full-year EBITDA margin of 2 percent," said Jon Chait, chairman and chief executive officer of Hudson Highland Group. The company will update its 2006 guidance on the year-end earnings call. Hudson Highland Group Hudson Highland Group is one of the world's leading professional staffing, retained executive search and human capital solution providers. We help our clients achieve greater organizational performance by attracting, selecting, engaging and developing the best and brightest people for their businesses. Our approximately 3,800 employees in more than 20 countries are dedicated to providing unparalleled service and value to our clients. More information about Hudson Highland Group is available at http://www.hhgroup.com . Safe Harbor Statement This press release contains statements that the company believes to be "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this press release, including those under the caption "Guidance" and other statements regarding the company's future financial condition, results of operations, business operations and business prospects, are forward-looking statements. Words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "predict," "believe" and similar words, expressions and variations of these words and expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the impact of global economic fluctuations on temporary contracting operations; the cyclical nature of the company's executive search and mid-market professional staffing businesses; the company's ability to manage its growth and fund working capital associated therewith; risks associated with expansion; risks and financial impact associated with disposition of non-strategic assets; the company's reliance on information systems and technology; competition; fluctuations in operating results; risks relating to foreign operations, including foreign currency fluctuations; dependence on highly skilled professionals and key management personnel; the impact of employees departing with existing executive search clients; risks maintaining professional reputation and brand name; restrictions imposed by blocking arrangements; exposure to employment-related claims, and limits on insurance coverage related thereto; government regulations; the company's ability to successfully operate as an independent company and the level of costs associated therewith; and restrictions on the company's operating flexibility due to the terms of its credit facility. Additional information concerning these and other factors is contained in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. The company assumes no obligation, and expressly disclaims any obligation, to review or confirm analysts' expectations or estimates or to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE Hudson Highland Group, Inc.