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Specialist People Services set to exceed 100m turnover

The Bradford-based company, which is backed by private equity investor LDC, said in a Q3 trading update that it expects total turnover for the year to the end of March 2015 to be at least &pound110m (2014: &pound88m), boosted by rapid growth across all areas of the group.

Specialist People Services comprises Driver Hire Nationwide, the leading UK specialist transport and logistics recruiter rail support services supplier ISS Labour Driver CPC training provider Driver Hire Training its eServices division, which offers online people management services such as dh Licence Check and international arm Driver Hire Australia.

Chris Chidley, CEO of SPS, said he was & lsquo;confident’ about future prospects, underpinned by a consistent appetite for reliable temporary drivers, rail services work handled by ISS Labour, ongoing demand for Driver CPC training, further growth at Driver Hire Australia and the provision of software-based compliance and training services, such as dh Licence Check.

He said, “The broad range of specialist services offered by the SPS Group provides us with a platform to reach an increasing number of businesses. Companies want access to great people and services to maximise the productivity of their workforce in an increasingly service-oriented economy. These firms need a stable of reliable, specialist and niche recruitment businesses that operate in & lsquo;hard-to-serve’ marketplaces. We are meeting that need.

“As a business we’re capitalising on a flight to quality. The companies we serve expect a reliable supply of high-quality temporary labour. This is especially vital in the sectors that we serve. In addition, an increasing number of firms are coming to us for our wider range of services, such as driver training and online licence checking.”

This year’s record turnover comes on the back of strong take-up of SPS’s diverse services, including sustained demand for temporary drivers from Driver Hire Nationwide. Revenue in this business is 20% up on 2013/14. Growth in the previous year was also 20%. Plans are in place to further expand the UK network, with demand for temporary drivers expected to continue to rise in the long term.

SPS is also benefitting from the continued integration of ISS Labour, which was acquired in November 2013. The business – a key supplier of services to many of Network Rail’s principal contractors – is expected to continue growing as a result of ongoing investment in the UK’s rail infrastructure.

Elsewhere in the group, SPS has enjoyed record growth in its Driver Hire Australia business, with sales set to double this year compared with 2014. New branches are planned in Sydney and Adelaide in the next 12 months, complementing existing offices in Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne.

SPS has also seen strong demand for Driver Hire Training, which helps drivers gain the mandatory Driver Certificate of Professional Competence. Its eServices division, which provides online licence checking, eLearning and eAssessment services, has grown income eight-fold over the past year. 

Chris Chidley added: “Looking ahead, we are confident in our position. We are actively pursuing acquisition opportunities in Australia and working to identify a further specialist business to join our UK portfolio. Our customers’ appetite for our services is increasing, along with the growth prospects of the UK economy and our overseas markets. All of this underpins our expectation of a strong end to our financial year.”

SPS Group’s expertise is based on 30 years’ experience in providing specialist recruitment services. In 2011, LDC became the company’s second private equity backer.

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