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Sweden – Uniflex hit by weak demand, revenue falls 10%

31 January 2013

Uniflex (UFLXB: STO), one of Scandinavia’s largest staffing firms, today reported falling revenues in the fourth quarter as demand for recruitment services slowed, particularly in Sweden. Net sales dropped -10% to €43.6 million (SEK 375.3 million) in the three months to December.

The firm blamed weaker economic conditions and a decline in client demand. But CEO Jan Bengtsson remained positive. “One should not forget that when the economy picks up again, customers will again use our services.”

In the quarter, the firm made an operating loss of €0.17 million (SEK 1.5 million), compared to an operating profit of €1.8 million (SEK 15.4 million) a year ago. It also made an overall loss of €0.2 million (SEK 1.8 million) while profit after tax was €1.0 million (SEK 8.8 million) in the year earlier.

Full-year revenue decreased to €185.9 million (SEK 1.6 billion). Uniflex has a market share of around 6% in Sweden, according to research by Staffing Industry Analysts. It provides staffing services to industry, warehousing, construction, and management sectors.

Although the firm has a large presence in the Nordic countries, it has recently eyed up the German staffing market and, in early January, announced plans to establish operations there.

In trading this morning, the company’s share price remained flat at SEK 34, a -12% fall from a year ago and -16.7% below its 52-week high of SEK 40.80 seen in March last year.

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