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NES GLOBAL TALENT SHOW 28% INCREASE AGAINST TOUGH 2011 ECONOMIC BACKDROP

NES GLOBAL TALENT SHOW 28% INCREASE AGAINST TOUGH 2011 ECONOMIC BACKDROP

All operating profits, EBIT and group profits stated are before exceptional administrative expenses.

The year ended 31 October 2011 saw the group produce an operating profit performance of &pound16.2 million, a 28% increase over 2010. Turnover increased to &pound380.1 million, a rise of 34% on prior year, whilst the overall group gross profit increased from &pound32.6 million to &pound43.7 million.

NES Global Talent is delighted to show a 28% increase in operating profits especially in current economic conditions where it is clear that we are taking further share from competitors. These results were achieved despite further significant investment in group IT support systems, with capital expenditure of &pound0.7 million during the year. Average staff numbers increased from 310 to 352, highlighting the investment made in the future business development of the Group.

Group year-end debtor days reduced from 43 to 39, and operating profit to cash generated by operations (& lsquo;operating cash conversion’) is in line with prior year at a very impressive 98%. This is an excellent performance, despite a further increase in the proportion of group revenues from the global operations, which absorb relatively more cash than the UK operations. Global operations now make up 66% of group turnover and 67% of group EBIT, and this move away from reliance on UK markets is entirely in line with group strategy. The new brand of NES Global Talent was unveiled towards the end of the year and this brand comprises the three trading divisions against which we report our financial results: Global Technical UK Technical and IT/Accredited Training.  

The continuing investment in the Global Technical business was rewarded with operating profits increasing by 43% over the prior year.  New overseas offices were opened in South Korea, Azerbaijan, Russia and the Netherlands during the year. The company has now enjoyed uninterrupted profit growth for the seventh year running and for our staff to achieve such amazing results against a worrying economic background, is a great compliment to their determination, hard work and long-standing client relationships.”

UK Technical, excluding the Track business, produced an operating profit of &pound6.2 million, an increase of 10%, on revenues up 10%.  The UK market continued to be the toughest of all those in which we operate, and yet even here, we have produced double digit profit growth. The rail focused track business in the UK, produced an operating profit of &pound0.3 million, compared to a profit of &pound0.4 million in 2010. The group does not plan to invest in this business in the medium term due to the ever tighter public spending initiatives on the UK Rail Industry, but again is in a solid position to benefit when the rail market sees new capital projects such as HS2.

Operating profit in the IT/Accredited Training division decreased by &pound0.1 million to &pound0.8 million, on turnover up 8% to &pound19.8 million. This follows a continuing focus on the core strategic area of engineering and technical staffing, with a deliberate reduction in the group’s exposure to the UK IT sector, which now only forms 4% of group profits.

The strategic intention that was born on arrival of the CEO Neil Tregarthen in 2004, remains to become ever more global and specialist, and our results in 2011 have provided further evidence that this strategy is correct. Our increasing portfolio strength of geography and sectors positions us well to react to changes in global markets brought about by current economic uncertainty. Whilst we are mindful of these external factors, we intend to keep our nerve and continue to invest in areas of our business that are performing well, as indicated by our capital expenditure of &pound0.7 million in the year and further office openings. NES Global Talent is a “human capital” business and as such our staff teams around the world are one of our key success factors. We recruited an internal Training and Development Director in October 2011 and we are committed to investing further in this area, such that we attract, develop and retain the best talent available across the world. It is a matter of profound strategic importance that our culture does not get diluted or damaged as we grow and as such we will continue to focus on this “fabric which binds us together,” in order that we always have a working environment where our staff can and do, give of their best.

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