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Empresaria Group Confident of Prospects

Empresaria Group Confident of Prospects

Empresaria Group plc, the AIM-quoted international specialist staffing company, today announced its results for the year ended 31 December 2009. After the sharp downturn experienced in the first six months of the year, trading performance has improved and the Group has experienced both an encouraging second half in 2009 and start to 2010.

Revenue decreased by 6% to 195.2m, net fee income was down 20% to 41.4m and adjusted profit before tax reduced by 50% to 3.2m. Adjusted earnings per share reduced from 8.6p to 3.1p, partly due to a higher number of shares in issue.

Net debt improved by 1.1m to 8.0m driven by an improved second half where borrowings reduced by 3.3m.

65% of net fee income in 2009 was generated outside of the UK, up from 59% in 2008.

Empresaria has operations in 17 countries through more than 130 offices and approximately 800 staff.

Chief Executive Miles Hunt commented: For the first time in 13 years, our revenue and net fee income reduced. In particular the trading conditions in the first half of the year in Germany, the UK and Japan, our three largest markets, were incredibly challenging.

Overall, however, given difficult market conditions, we delivered a performance for the year which reflects the resilience of our business model - underpinned by our equity ownership philosophy, our focus on temporary staffing operations and a strategy of risk diversification across different sectors and geographies.

Whilst the macro-economic environment remains fragile, we have confidence in our prospects for the current year. In recent months we have experienced a growing demand for both temporary and permanent staffing solutions and since January both revenues and net fee income have been significantly higher than in the same period in 2009. We are encouraged by the progress now being made by operations in emerging markets, particularly in Asia, which are expected to generate a significantly greater contribution to Group profits in 2010. In addition, as with previous market downturns, the demand from clients for the flexibility offered by temporary staffing solutions is strong and we are seeing this reflected in growing temp numbers particularly in the UK and Germany. Although we retain a cautious view of the economic recovery, Empresaria is well positioned to take advantage of the current market trends and the opportunities that they present for our companies.


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