Prime People publishes interim report
Whilst trading across our revenue areas in the first half has been variable, Net Fee Income ('NFI') for the Group is broadly the same as for the corresponding period last year but with improving NFI in the second quarter across the Group. NFI from the Rest of the World, representing less than 10% of total NFI, has fallen by 33% whereas in the UK and Asia NFI has increased, by 4% and 7% respectively.
With a back-drop of improved trading conditions, we continue with the development of our international businesses in Asia, which we believe will provide us with increased opportunities for growth in the mid to long term.
Permanent recruitment remains the main focus of our business representing 90% of NFI compared to 91% in the comparable period for 2013.
The Group is pleased to report a much improved operating profit of £0.3m in the first half of its financial year compared to £0.1m achieved in the comparable period last year. The improved performance reflects a slightly better than break even performance from our Singapore office in the period compared to losses associated with the investment in Singapore this time last year.
Group revenue increased by 8% for the period, to £6.8m (2012:£6.3m) mainly due to an increase in turnover of our UK temporary business.
NFI remained the same at £3.8m (2012:£3.8m)
Administrative costs for the group have reduced from £3.7m in 2012 to £3.5m in the current period reflecting the tight cost controls that the Group continue to maintain over its businesses.
Profit before taxation for the period has increased to £0.3m (2012:£0.1m)
The charge for taxation is based on the expected annual effective tax rate of 23% (2012:43%%, which, as previously noted, was high in this period because of the impact of applying lower tax rates to the costs arising from our business in Singapore).
Basic earnings per share for the period has increased to 1.94p (2012:0.57p).
The Group maintained a strong net cash position of £2.8m (2012:£ 2.1m) at the end of the period. Cash generated by the business in the period amounted to £0.97m (2012: cash used £0.46m), which after dividend payment of £0.37m (2012:£ 0.27m), resulted in a net cash inflow of £0.56m (2012: cash outflow £0.73m).
Given the level of trading in the first half of 2013 the Board will be declaring an interim dividend of 1.00p (2012: 1.00p).
As we step into the second half of the year we have reasonable expectations that the UK businesses will continue to perform at least at similar levels to the first half of the year or better. We are looking for continued improved performance from our businesses in Asia, but have conservative expectations as to the likely performance from our businesses in the Rest of the World.
The focus for the Group is to maximize the returns from recent investments and continue to recruit new heads into those markets where there is potential for NFI and profit growth.