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In a recent interview with CerleFinance.com, Nathalie Jaoui, Chief Operating Officer for French recruitment firm Groupe Crit (CRIT: FR) spoke about the company’s performance during 2013 and her optimism about the coming year.
Ms Jaoui said: “The year 2013 must be split into two distinct halves. The first was impacted by the deterioration in the temporary staffing market in France, which represents 80% of the group’s activities.”
“In the second half, the company benefited from a reversal of the trend, which has allowed it to return to growth throughout the year. In the United States, revenue was driven by organic growth but also by acquisitions completed in recent months. Furthermore, we are seeing a strong recovery in Spain, our third largest region, and some weakness in the German and Swiss markets.”
“As for our results that will be published on the 1 April, we expect solid numbers, broadly in line with expectations. Group Crit was able to maintain or improve our margin levels in 2013, thanks to a growth in sales,” she added.
“Groupe Crit has had offices in the United States for two years, starting with the acquisition of PeopleLink, which is the platform for our expansion in the US, [we have made seven acquisitions]. Our goal is to bring together other top level players from around the recruitment industry. As we announced previously out target for 2014 is to being the group’s revenue in the US to USD 300 million (€218.3 million) this year and we intend to continue our policy of acquisitions.”
“At the moment we operate in the industrial, construction, pharmaceutical, and IT sectors in the eastern half of the country. We are looking to strengthen our position in IT and we are hoping to reach between USD 20 million (€14.6 million) and USD 40 million (€29.1 million) in sales in this business segment.”
Looking forward, Ms Jaoui said: “There is a degree of optimism given the recruitment market prospects in the regions of the world in which we operate. France has returned to growth, Spain’s head is out of the water, Morocco and Tunisia reported strong performances, while the United States shows significant dynamism.”
“By controlling costs, the Group has not discounted the option of strengthening its presence in Europe, and in the medium term could turn to the two regions that have been left unexplored by now; namely Asia and Latin America,” she concluded.