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Sweden – Recession does not impact staffing business

22 February 2013

Sweden-based recruiter Wise Group (WISE:STO) posted a +70% increase in net sales for the fourth quarter totalling €15.1 million (SEK 128.0 million), compared to €8.9 million (SEK 75.3 million) a year ago.Operating profit improved to €1.3 million (SEK 11.3 million) from €1.2 million (SEK 10.2 million).

The strong sales growth was buoyed by the acquisition of rival staffing firm Resurs in November 2011. On an organic basis, the company’s sales increase would have been +17%. Resurs has since undergone a name change and is now called Wise IT.

CEO Roland Gustavsson said in a press statement that “during the year, there has been much talk in the media about the recession, but our operations have not been affected to any significant extent by this.”

The company also announced that in the fourth quarter it had merged its two business units Wise Online and Talentum HR to form a joint venture, now known as Edge HR, at the start of January.

In January 2013, the company opened its first overseas office in Copenhagen, Denmark and plans to investigate opportunities in other markets. They have also recently launched a new brand, KIMM, which provides recruitment services for communications, information, media and marketing professionals.

In early trading, the company’s share price was up +6% to SEK 1.67, a +35% increase from a year ago. Based on its stock price, the firm has a market value of €27.6 million (SEK 233.55 million).

Wise Group AB is the parent company of a number of brands providing specialist recruitment and HR services. Wise has offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Linköping and Boras. The company’s shares are traded on NASDAQ OMX First North.

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