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Interquest Trading Update

Interquest Trading Update

IT staffing specialist, InterQuest Group plc has issued a trading update for the year ending 31st December 2008.

Another year of considerable growth with revenue anticipated to exceed 104m (approximately 20% higher than 2007: 86.7m) and gross profit anticipated to exceed 15.2m (approximately 18% higher than 2007: 12.9m)
All acquisitions successfully integrated
Record number of contractors in our public sector clients
More than 75% of gross profit currently derived from repeatable, sustainable contract placements
Strong cash management with operating cashflow likely to exceed EBITA for the year
Balance sheet substantially stronger due to profitability and management of working capital. Net debt reduced to less than 6m from 9.3m at the start of 2008
EBITA anticipated to be approximately 5.3m and adjusted PBT approximately 4.75m

Operational update and outlook

Contractor numbers in the year ranged from 1,020 to 1,090 with the Group ending the year with 1,050 contractors. This has remained steady into January giving the Board reasonable visibility for 2009.

Our public sector business has shown strong growth in 2008 and closed the year with all time highs in revenue, gross profit and contractor numbers.

However, permanent placement levels have fallen significantly during the last quarter of the year leading to lower visibility for 2009.

The economic climate suggests that 2009 is likely to be the most difficult year that the Group has faced. However, our strengthened balance sheet, experienced management team and niche-focused business model, based upon specialist IT recruitment often in mission critical areas, combined with the majority of our gross profit being derived from contract revenue rather than permanent placement fees, positions us well to meet the challenges ahead.


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