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Empresaria Group plc (EMR:LSE), the AIM-quoted international specialist staffing company, today announces an -8% reduction in revenues from 100.6 million Pounds for the first six months of 2008 to 92.5 million Pounds for the same period this year.
Gross profit was down by -25% from 25.3 million Pounds in 2008 to 18.9 million Pounds in the six months ended 30 June 2009. Operating profit was down from 2.3 million Pounds in 2008 to break even in 2009. The Group posted an adjusted loss before tax of 0.5 million Pounds (1.8 million Pounds profit in 2008).
Chief Executive Miles Hunt said, "Empresaria's strategy is to develop a multi-disciplined international specialist staffing group, balanced in terms of sector, geographic and operational coverage, as well as organic and acquisitive growth. Since 2004 we have established operations either through start up or investment in an existing business in 20 countries. The Group now generates over 60% of its net fee income from markets outside the UK."
"This development and diversification strategy is still at an early stage of implementation. We are seeing significant growth being generated from a number of companies, particularly in the Asia region. Although we benefit from this portfolio effect and the increased contribution from these growing businesses, they are not yet of a scale to offset completely the economic decline in the more developed countries."
"Over time, as our business streams become less dependent on individual markets and sectors, we expect to experience increasing benefit from this risk reduction strategy. Our major priority is the completion of this world-wide footprint in order to take advantage of the improving recruitment market in future years."
"The efforts to insulate the Group from market volatility have had a significant positive impact but insufficient to withstand the full effects of a synchronised global downturn."
"The decline in demand experienced in most markets during the first quarter of the year has, in large part, moved forward to a period of relative market constancy with some signs of market improvement in specific countries. Although the global economic backdrop is still a cause for concern and could lead to renewed dips in demand, these early signs of increased stability are encouraging. In the longer term the rebalancing of the supply and demand equation for jobs and candidates augurs well for the long term growth prospects for both the staffing industry and for our company."
"The Board is confident as to the strategy and prospects for the Group. Empresaria has an experienced operational management team, motivated and entrepreneurial owner-managers and opportunities for rapid growth in developing staffing markets. The uncertainty as to the economic outlook necessitates caution when considering the prospects for the full year, although recent
tentative signs of recovery in certain markets are cause for optimism."
In early trading Empresaria's shares were up 5.85% to 34.40 Pence.