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UK – InterQuest posts -7% drop in revenue

06 March 2013

IT recruiter InterQuest (ITQ:LSE)  last year saw revenue fall -7% to £112.7 million after undergoing major reorganisation processes to move into specialist niche recruitment markets, the firm reported on Wednesday. Revenue in the UK, the Company’s largest market by far, was also down by -7%. InterQuest also operates in Singapore.

The firm faced restructuring costs of £0.7 million in the year. Executive chairman Gary Ashworth said: “We transformed our business during 2012 and I am pleased to say that we are now organised into keenly focused niche businesses utilising a common methodology, a single operating platform and new IQ branding.

“As we enter 2013, we have a significantly reduced cost base compared to mid-2012 and our January and February NFI [net fee income/gross profit] is circa 5% ahead of a year ago. I believe that this stands us in good stead for the year ahead.”

InterQuest, one of the largest IT staffing firms in Europe, saw gross profit fall -2% to £16.4 million during 2012. But the gross margin improved to 14.5% from 13.8%. The firm reported a loss of £0.1 million for the year, compared to a loss of £1.1 million a year earlier.

The recruiter derives the majority of its revenue from contract recruitment where sales fell -7% to £107.5 million. Revenue from permanent recruitment rose +2% to £5.2 million, but the firm said that this market has increasingly come under pressure.  

The firm now plans to fine-tune its investment in key niche and specialist markets to improve profitability during 2013.

In early trading, the company’s share price remained flat at 53.50 pence, down -2% from a year ago. Based on its stock price, the firm has a market value of 17.67 million.

InterQuest places contract and permanent staff into niche disciplines within the information & communications technology sector. It is placed 30th in Staffing Industry Analysts’ ranking of top recruitment agencies in the UK.

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