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Netherlands – Very strong results from Brunel International drive by Oil & Gas

17 August 2012

Dutch staffing firm Brunel International (BRI:AEX) saw Q2 revenue increase 40% compared to 2011 to €303 million. The majority of this increase is generated by the revenue increase of Oil & Gas (+57%) as a result of increased offshore projects revenue in Australia. Traditional Energy business increased its revenue by 19% as well.

The share of the Energy revenue in the total revenue has increased from 62% in Q2 2011 to 70% this year (€212 million), the division's highest ever quarterly revenue. The main developments driving this growth are the increased project revenue on the large offshore projects in Australia and continued growth in the regions South East Asia and the America's. Currency effect accounts for some € 15 million (+11%) of the increase. The company spent some € 0.5 million establishing a Global recruitment Centre in Manchester.

German revenue was up +19% the increase was fully attributable by the company to the increase in the average number of direct employees up 7% q/q to 2,036. The largest contributing sectors are the Automotive and Mechanical engineering segments which attributed 70% of the growth in the first half of this year. 

In the Netherlands revenue was up a more modest +3%.  There was an increase in direct headcount (+8%) but also a small decrease of average rates and one workable day less.

Brunel Europe Other (Belgium, Austria, Poland and Denmark ), Belgium and Austria are the main revenue contributors and account for over 90% of the Q1 and H1 revenue. The market conditions in Belgium remain difficult, especially in the banking segment where a large share of its business is generated. Both Q2 and H1 2012 revenue are down 5% compared to the same periods in 2011. However Brunel Austria developed well with a H1 revenue increase of 65% compared to last year. No reason for this growth was provided. A new office has been opened in Zurich, Switzerland, and we expect first placement of fee earners in Q3 2012.

Q2 2012 gross profit amounts to € 53 million, an increase of 21% compared to 2011. The gross margin is 17.4% which is down -2.6% compared to last year. The decrease in gross margin is largely caused by the increased share of Energy revenue and to a lesser extent by 1 working day less in Q2 2012 versus Q2 2011.

The H1 operating profit amounted to € 37 million, up +37% compared to H1 2011 but this figure included an unallocated loss of -€3.6m up near double from the previous period.

Speaking about the results Jan Arie van Barneveld, CEO of Brunel International said: "I am pleased to note that all our divisions continue to excel in uncertain economic conditions. Positive developments in the Australian offshore projects were expected but have again exceeded our expectations. The traditional Energy business is clearly benefitting from the increased investment activities in the Oil & Gas industry and further revenue growth was realised by all regions we operate in. In Europe we also realised growth, despite economic headwind, primarily due to our strong commercial organisation that achieved growth both with existing as well as new customers."

The company does not expect the European markets to improve this year but they remain positive that further growth for Brunel will be realised during the remainder of 2012, although at a lower pace.  They also see a reduced activity level in the Australian offshore market this year but higher activity level in 2013.Based on the current performance and these future developments they have increased their revenue expectations by at least 15% for the full year 2012.

Brunel  is ranked 11th in the Dutch staffing market according to Staffing Industry Analysts’ latest research, which is available to members only.

This morning Brunel International NV traded at €33.40 up just under 2% and up just under 55% on a year ago, but 9.31% below its 52-week high of €36.83, set on 3rd May, 2012. This values the company at €765.10 million.

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