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Matchtech Group publishes half year financial report

Permanent recruitment fees up 17% to &pound6.2m (2013 H1: &pound5.3m)

EBITA (earnings before interest, taxation and amortisation of acquired intangibles) up 53% to &pound6.6m (2013 H1: &pound4.3m), representing an increase in NFI conversion to 30% (2013 H1: 23%)

Profit from operations was up 48% to &pound6.2m (2013 H1: &pound4.2m), with underlying1 profit from operations up 32% to &pound6.2m (2013 H1 &pound4.7m)

Profit before tax up 43% to &pound5.7m (H1 2013: &pound4.0m)

Basic earnings per share up 43% to 18.1p (H1 2013: 12.7p)

Cash placing on 20 September 2013 raising &pound4.1m (net of expenses) to fund Provanis acquisition

Modest level of gearing with net debt at half year end of &pound8.6m (2013 H1: &pound8.0m

Appointment of Brian Wilkinson as Executive Chairman with effect from 2 December 2013

Increase in interim dividend of 5% to 5.41p (2013: 5.15p) to be paid on 20 June 2014 to shareholders on the register at 30 May 2014

(Underlying results exclude trading of the Provanis acquisition and its related acquisition costs, amortisation of acquired intangibles and non-recurring restructuring costs in 2013 H1.)

Commenting on the results, Adrian Gunn, chief executive officer, said, “The Group delivered a strong performance in the first half of the year with a 43% increase in earnings per share.

"These results reflect the benefits of our longstanding leadership position in Engineering, with the infrastructure, automotive and marine sectors experiencing particularly strong levels of activity.  Our newer, but now well established Professional Service businesses, have also shown strong underlying growth and were further boosted by the acquisition of Provanis in September.

"Demand for contractors remains high while the permanent marketplace continues its recovery, we are seeing increasing margins and an improving NFI conversion ratio across the business. The integration of Provanis is going well as we focus on cross selling its services to our wider client base. 

"Trading in the second half is progressing well and we continue to invest appropriately to support our ambitious growth plans. The Board currently anticipates that the results for the year to 31 July 2014 will be slightly ahead of its previous expectations.”

Brian Wilkinson, executive chairman, said, “Matchtech Group is a great business, with significant potential. Since starting in December, everything I have seen has endorsed this view, and I feel increasingly enthusiastic about the opportunities that lie ahead. I am looking forward to helping the Board and staff to achieve even higher levels of success and am delighted with the strong start we have had to this financial year.”



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