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Netherlands – Brunel revenue up, profits suffer

22 May 2013

Dutch recruitment giant Brunel International today reported a +3% jump in first-quarter revenue which totalled €296 million. But gross profit in the first three months of the year dropped -6% to €52 million with the gross margin falling from 19.4% to 17.7%.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to €13.5 million, -35% below figures reported a year ago.

CEO Jan Arie van Barneveld said: “I’m pleased with how our organisation is performing in Europe, both in terms of turnover and profitability. In Energy we have grown by 30%, which has more than offset the already familiar developments in Offshore Construction Projects.

“It is reassuring that this growth also seems to be of a fairly structural nature. Our continued investment in expanding operations and strengthening our IT infrastructure will give us a strong basis for a future to which we can look forward with confidence.”

The firm’s Oil and Gas division realised revenues of €201 million, an increase of +4% compared to the same time in 2012. Although revenue generated by the Offshore Construction Projects decreased to €36 million from €66 million, the Energy unit posted growth of 30% with revenue reaching €165.0 million.

Brunel reported a small increase in total European revenue of €95 million, but in the Netherlands revenue fell -9% to €39 million as the gross margin decreased to 31% compared to 35% in Q1 2012. In Germany, revenue rose +12% to €49 million, up +12% compared to the same period in 2012. The German gross margin decreased to 36.2% from 39.9%.

During the quarter, the recruiter faced total overhead costs of €39 million, up €4 million from the prior year because of one-off expenses of €1 million related to the investments of its internal organisation.

Last week, Brunel restated its 2012 financial statements following a fraud in America which forced the firm to take a €9.7 million charge as financial results had been overstated.

In early trading, the company’s share price fell by -0.3% to €34.09, up +1% from a year ago. Based on this stock price, the firm has a market value of €826.51 million.

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