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Staffline plunges into loss, group appoints Albert Ellis as new CEO

By Dawn Gibson

Recruitment and training group Staffline posted an £800,000 underlying operating loss for the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus impact reverberated across its UK and Irish operations.

The group has also announced the appointment of a new Group CEO, Albert Ellis, currently serving as a non-executive director. Ellis, the former CEO of Harvey Nash Group, is expected to take up his new position in October.

Staffline’s unaudited interim results for the six months ended June 30 reveal a 16.9% decline in revenue, to £434.9 million. The underlying operating loss of £800,000 is a dramatic decline from the £4.4 million profit  in the first half of 2019.

The group noted that the unprecedented surge in demand for supermarket products during lockdown, where volumes were 64% higher than expected between April and May, was not enough to offset the impact of Covid-19 in other sectors.

Its PeoplePlus division, a leading adult skills and training provider which delivers apprenticeships and adult education, had to shut down its classrooms between April and June, and services have only recovered to 42% capacity since due to social distancing.

However, the group states it “remains on track to achieve a positive result for 2020 on an underlying operating profit basis across each of the three divisions.”

Staffline executive chairman Ian Lawson says the group anticipates a stronger trading performance in the second half of 2020 despite the continued uncertainty in the market due to Covid-19.

"Staffline continued to successfully service its customer base, and our business proved resilient in the first half of 2020 despite Covid-19 significantly impacting a number of the group's key sectors,” he says. “Our teams have worked tirelessly to not only support our customers in what has been a very challenging trading environment, but to ensure all of our workforce remains safe.”

Staffline is a leading UK provider of flexible blue-collar workers, supplying approximately 40,000 staff per day on average to around 450 client sites, across industries including agriculture, supermarkets, drinks, driving, food processing, logistics and manufacturing.

The group’s Recruitment Ireland division is a leading end to end solutions provider operating across 20 industries, 10 branch locations, 15 onsite customer locations and offering RPO, MSP, temporary and permanent solutions across Ireland.

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