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UK recruiters show resilience in Covid-19 battering

The heads of Empresaria, RTC Group and Norman Broadbent have thanked staff for their contributions and adaptability as global markets weather the pandemic storm, revealing some positive figures in fresh trading updates.

UK-based international specialist staffing group Empresaria’s latest trading update, ahead of interim results for the six months to June to be released August 12, showed it remained profitable in both the first and second quarters, while net debt was significantly reduced to £11.6m.

While first half net fee income was 22% lower than last year, Empresaria pointed out that the degree of impact varied depending on sector and geography, showing the benefits of its diversification. Costs in the second quarter were 30% lower than in 2019, and 23% lower than the first quarter, enabling the group to remain profitable in the second quarter despite the significant fall in net fee income.

Announcing its unaudited results for the six months to June, engineering and technical recruitment group RTC stated group revenue from continuing operations of £40 million, down from £46 million in 2019. Net cash inflow from operating activities was £4.3 million, up from £1.1 million, and profit from operations was £0.3 million, down from £0.8 million.

RTC chairman Bill Douie said he was particularly pleased the group had navigated its way successfully through an extraordinarily difficult six months. “Despite an immediate drop in revenue across all our UK business streams due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have managed to deliver a modest first half profit and a significantly improved cash position,” he said.

Norman Broadbent reported a positive EBITDA, with revenues down by less than 10%, in unaudited results for the six months to June.

At the group’s AGM on July 28, CEO Mike Brennan said Norman Broadbent had taken early and decisive action to align its cost base to changed circumstances, and put in place necessary technical solutions and working protocols, in response to the pandemic.

“The dedication of our staff and our strategy of building an innovative, diversified, and agile business, has meant we have been better placed to respond to market challenges than many competitors,” he said.

Meanwhile, French international staffing and airport assistance company Groupe CRIT is cautiously welcoming a gradual improvement. After a 13% decrease in the first quarter, mainly due to the Covid-19 impact in March, the group posted Q2 revenue down -52.6% to € 308.3 M. This decline in activity, in an exceptional context, was particularly strong in April and May. As of June, the gradual lifting of restrictive measures resulted in a more limited business decline of 39% during the month.

In France, the group posted half-year sales of € 598.6 million, down 36.6%. International activities were slightly more resilient, with a decrease of 25.4%.


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