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Sweden – Mixed quarter for Poolia

10 February 2012

Revenues were down by -1.2% from €33.5 million in Q4 2010 to €33.1 million in Q4 2011 at Poolia AB (POOLB:STO), the Sweden-based temporary and permanent staffing group, which specialises in finance, administration, IT and engineering.  Operating profit went from a loss of - €7 million in Q4 2010 to a loss of -€204,000 in Q4 2011. 

Poolia Sweden revenues were €26.68 million in Q4 2011 compared with €25.61 million in Q4 2010 an increase of 4%.The business has expanded in order to increase growth and win market share and has have spent €1 million on TV advertising, new ventures and “spatial” restructuring. In the quarter, temporary staffing grew more than recruitment and outplacement put together but the proportion of pure recruitment has increased. 

Poolia Sweden's operating profit was €68,000 in Q4 2011 compared with €1.62 million in Q4 2010. The operating margin was 0.3% compared with 6.3% during the same period in the prior year.

Poolia UK revenues were €2.8 million in Q4 2011 compared with €3.8 million in Q4 2010.  The company has a strategy to end its low margin business. It has achieved a significant cost reduction, an underlying margin improvement through a shift in customer mix towards a higher proportion of small and medium-sized customers and greater efficiency through reorganization of the business. The savings are estimated at €7 million on an annual basis for 2011 and savings will increase further in 2012 the company believes. Q4 is seasonally the weakest period for Poolia UK resulting in an operating loss for the period of -€124,750 compared with -€8.1 million in Q4 2010.

Poolia Germany revenues were €2.5 million in Q4 2011 compared with €3.2 in Q4 2010. In local currency, this represents a drop in sales of 19%.  Exchange rate changes negatively impacted revenue by 1% during the quarter. The proportion of recruitment has increased to 14% from 11% overall.

Poolia Germany's operating profit was €113,410 in Q4 2011 up from €90,730 in Q4 2010. The operating margin was 4.4% compared with 2.65% during the same period. Germany continues to grow gradually since April 2011. Long-term work to build team spirit, market presence, revenues and operating profit continues to progress.

Poolia Finland revenues were up +12% to €1.1 million in Q4 2011 compared with €963,980 in Q4 2010. Exchange rate changes negatively impacted revenue by 1% during the quarter.  The proportion of recruitment has fallen to 14% from 15%. Poolia Finland's operating profit was €215,480 in Q4 2011 compared with €113,410 in Q4 2010, and the operating margin was 20% compared with 12% during the same period.

Monika Elling, MD and CEO, commented "2011 has been a year of investment and restructuring that provides a good foundation for the future. In Sweden, Poolia was back on track in the fourth quarter with our TV slogan ‘Need help - Call Poolia’. During the year we opened three new offices and launched three new companies. Poolia Executive Search has been profitable from the first quarter while TalentEye and Poolia Lead, Poolia student and HR consulting activities, are still in the start-up phase.”

“We have worked to further strengthen our recruitment activities. We have restructured the five office/business areas. We have merged our Øresund Region to Malmö and Copenhagen office closed. We have cut costs by merging the Group and the Swedish staff functions, in addition, we have reduced Sweden's non-operational units. We have reduced the Swedish organization from five/six hierarchical levels to three/four to create the ‘intrapreneurial’ organization Poolia want. In addition, we will further strengthen our growth and efficiency focus.”

“Overall I am happy with the way we leave 2011 and the opportunities we have in 2012…so far 2012 is in line with last year.”

In early trading today, Poolia's shares were down -4.88% at 15.60 Swedish Kronor. This is down 61.10% on a year ago but 23.81% above the 52 week low of 12.60 Swedish Kronor set on 30 November 2011. This means the company is currently valued at €24.36 million.

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