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Networkers International Plc (NWKI:LSE), the IT and telecoms staffing specialist, today reports a -21.5% fall in pre-tax profits for the year to December 2009 to 4.37 million Pounds from 5.57 million Pounds.
Net fee income fell to 21.16 million Pounds in 2009 from 26.1 million Pounds in 2008. However gross profit margins increased to 16.3% in 2009 from 15.9% in 2008.
The company said a strategic focus on international expansion had seen international business in the second half increase to 57% from 46% compared with H2 2008. It expected overseas earnings to exceed 60% in the current 12 months.
Cash flows from operating activities totalled 8.86 million Pounds in 2009, following on from 9.15 million Pounds during 2008. In addition, the group received 1.98 million Pounds from the disposal of its joint venture in Saudi Arabia.
The group said it had used its strong cash flows to make early repayments of its bank loan, which at the year-end stood at 2.76 million Pounds.
The original 16 million Pounds loan was taken out in 2006 to fund the acquisition of MSB and will be fully repaid in the current period, a year before its original due date.
CEO Spencer Manuel, said, "2009 was clearly a difficult year for the staffing sector in general, particularly in the UK. However, the steps we have taken over the last few years in diversifying our sales mix, together with our international expansion, has meant that the group has performed strongly and profitably despite the economic downturn."
"Moving into 2010, there has been some upturn in demand from our clients. Whilst it is too early to determine whether this pace of recovery will be sustainable, it is encouraging that the improvement has occurred across all our main revenue streams including permanent recruitment."
In early trading Networkers International's shares were down by -6.3% to 25.30 Pence