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InterQuest releases year end results

Financial highlights

&middot       Revenue increased by 2.0% to &pound114.9m (2012: &pound112.7m) 

&middot       Net fee income* (NFI) increased by 6.1% to &pound17.4m (2012: &pound16.4m)

&middot       Gross profit margin % up 60 basis points at 15.1% (2012: 14.5%)

&middot       Gross profit margin % on contractor recruitment business (excluding payroll deals) up 80 basis points to 12.3% from 11.5% in 2012 and from 10.9% in 2011 

&middot       EBITA before non-recurring items and IFRS 2 charges** increased by 39% to &pound2.5m (2012: &pound1.8m) 

&middot       Reported profit before tax for the year &pound1.43m (2012: &pound0.4m loss)

&middot       Basic adjusted earnings per share 4.8 pence (2012: 3.5 pence) up 37%

&middot       Basic earnings per share 2.9 pence (2012: loss per share of 0.4 pence)

&middot       Net cash from operating activities &pound1.3m (2012: &pound0.9m)

&middot       Net debt &pound9.0m (2012: &pound4.4m) post acquisition of ECOM Recruitment Limited

&middot       Second interim dividend of 2.0 pence per share is proposed and will be paid on 17th April 2014 (2012: 2.0 pence per share) bringing the total dividend for the year to 2.5 pence per share (2012: 2.5 pence per share)

EBITA Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation

* Net fee income represents gross profit

**a reconciliation of EBITA before non-recurring items and IFRS 2 charges to IFRS operating profit is provided in note 1 to this announcement

Operational highlights

&sect Improved profitability as we continue to build our business in line with the strategy that was implemented in 2012

&sect Continued improvement for the fifth reporting period in a row in contract recruitment gross margins as we focus on niche specialist recruitment

&sect Net operating margin (adjusted EBITA/NFI) improved by 340 basis points from 11.0% to 14.4%

&sect Mint branded business returned to profitability

&sect Disposal of non-core umbrella business, PayQuest Group Limited, which was started in 2010 for &pound314k

&sect Acquisition of the UK's leading digital technology recruitment business, ECOM Recruitment Limited ("ECOM") on 26th November 2013 complements our portfolio to provide market leading digital capability

Mark Braund, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "I am delighted with the progress we have made during 2013 we delivered a solid financial performance in the year with robust growth in net fee income, gross profit margins and EBITA. Our strategy of focusing on specialist disciplines in key niche markets has underpinned this success and we anticipate this will deliver further growth in 2014. In addition, our focus has been on leveraging our client relationships by offering them our specialist capability across multiple disciplines and cross-selling our niche offerings into each and every client. This opportunity is further enhanced by the acquisition of the UK's leading digital recruitment specialist ECOM Recruitment Limited ("ECOM"), in November 2013 providing incremental opportunities in areas such as analytics, ERP, technology sales and telecoms.We have already seen the benefits of making their unique talent pool available to our clients. We have started 2014 with a contract book that is organically 10% higher than a year ago (excluding the impact of the ECOM acquisition) and with foundations in place to capitalise upon the market opportunity in 2014. Overall our results and market position are made possible by the tremendous people that make up the InterQuest Group to them, on behalf of the Board we say a heartfelt 'thank you'". 

Gary Ashworth, Executive Chairman, commented: "The transformation of our business that we undertook in 2012 has delivered improved financial and operational results in 2013, which we look forward to building upon significantly in the coming year. In addition, the acquisition of ECOM has accelerated the Group's capability in the digital sector to a market leading level. Trading in January and February has been encouraging, especially in respect of recurring contract revenue and we look forward to the year unfolding with confidence."

 

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