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UK – Matchtech Group sees record demand for contract staff

02 August 2012

Matchtech Group (MTEC:LSE) benefited from increased activity in contract recruitment fuelled by global demand with gross profit in this segment rising by +21% for the year ended 31 July, the staffing firm said on Thursday.  

In a trading update today, the recruiter reported that total gross profit was up by +21% to £36.2 million in the year. But the firm saw tough market conditions especially affecting permanent staffing in the past quarter. Overall, the firm remained cautions, saying it was mindful of the uncertain economic backdrop.

The firm places staff in its four key sectors – engineering, science & medical, built environment and information systems & technology – and reported “unprecedented demand for contract staff with a record number of contractors on assignment.”

In the year, contract recruitment made up 68% of total Group gross profit, seeing a decline of -1% when compared to the same time a year ago. However, the number of contractors on assignment increased by +7% to 6,700. Permanent fees were up by +22% with the firm reporting “stable” developments.

Matchtech UK saw engineering perform well in the year with total gross profit rising by +18%. Demand was strong across all areas, particularly in the civil aerospace, automotive and marine sectors. Built environment's gross profit was up by +10% while information systems & technology saw strong growth of +25% in gross profit. Science and medical grew steadily with gross profit rising by +11%. In January the firm bought business assets of Xchanging Resourcing Services Limited ("XRS"), the contingent recruitment arm of Xchanging and secured a two-year contract running until 2014 to supply contractors.

Matchtech Germany doubled its gross profit in the year despite contractor growth being restricted by an ongoing skills shortage, the firm said.

Matchtech Group plc is a technical temporary, contract and permanent staffing businesses operating in key sectors including Engineering, Science & Medical, Built Environment and Information Systems & Technology. It is the 12th largest staffing firm in the UK, according to Staffing Industry Analysts’ research.

In early trading this morning, the company’s share price was down by -2.4% to 204.50 pence, down -7.9% from a year ago and +8.8% above its 52-week low of 188.00 pence seen in April 2012. The firm has a market value of £49.00 million.

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