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IT recruitment specialist InterQuest (ITQ: LSE) reported revenue for the first six months of 2013 of £56.2 million, up +0.7% compared with revenue of £55.8 million for the same period last year. Gross profit for the period grew from £8.3 million during H1 2012 to £8.5 million for H1 2013, an increase of +2.4%.
Net profit for the period was £986,000, more than double the net profit of £371,000 for the same period a year ago. Gross margin improved from 14.9% to 15.1%, year-on-year.
Gary Ashworth, executive chairman of InterQuest, commented: “I am delighted to see evidence that the company’s re-focus on niche sectors within the Group’s core technology market expertise has delivered increased revenues and net fee income, together with continued improvement in contract recruitment margins and average placement fees. These improvements, together with increased efficiencies in all of our business processes and systems, which were consolidated and streamlined last year, have combined to deliver better results in the first half of 2013 and we look forward to building on this improvement during the remainder of the year and beyond.”
The operational mix of InterQuest’s business remained constant at one third permanent recruitment and two thirds contract recruitment. Revenue from contract recruitment increased marginally, year-on-year, rising by +0.5% from £53.1 million to £53.4 million. Permanent recruitment revenue increased from £2.75 million to £2.9 million, year-on-year, equating to growth of +5.4%.
Revenue from recruitment in the private financial services sector fell slightly from £19.4 million last year to £19.2 million this year, a drop of -1.1%. Non-financial private sector recruitment revenue also reported a decline, falling -1.9% from £26.3 million to £25.8 million, year-on-year. Revenue from public sector recruitment increased +11%, rising from £8.9 million a year ago to £9.9 million this year. Revenue from international recruitment reported the biggest improvement, year-on-year, growing by +180% from £275,000 for H1 2012, to £771,000 in H1 2013.
Mark Braund, CEO of InterQuest, added: “Looking forward, our strategy is to continue to specialise, developing unique networks, and talent pools of passive candidates and targeting critical roles that are difficult to fill thereby strengthening our value proposition in the market. This strategy and the steps we took in 2012 to unify our brands [into] one IQ family and to consolidate and streamline our processes and systems should continue to deliver improved profitability in future reporting periods.”
He added: “The vast majority of our business (over 90%) is in the United Kingdom; therefore a continued improvement in UK market conditions – should that happen – would be a further catalyst.”
InterQuest places contract and permanent staff into niche disciplines within the information and communications technology sector. It currently has operations in the UK and Southeast Asia. According to research conducted by Staffing Industry Analysts, InterQuest if one of the top staffing firms in the UK.
In trading today, the company’s share price rose +3.13% to £0.82, an increase of £133.2% compared with a year ago. Based on its share price, the company has a current market value of £26.7 million.