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UK — New Doctors division helps Pinnacle Staffing Group increase annual sales

27 April 2010

Pinnacle Staffing Group Plc (PCL:LSE), the healthcare recruitment group, today announces full year results for the year ended 3 January 2010.

Revenue for the period amounted to 40.2 million Pounds compared to 38.1 million Pounds in 2008. The Group's core Nursing Division which includes its key brand, BNA, maintained its revenue with sales for the year of 31.4 million Pounds compared to 31.5 million Pounds in 2008.

The Medical Services Division continued to see substantial falls in revenue from 6.6 million Pounds in 2008 to 3.7 million Pounds in 2009 whilst the new Doctors division has seen substantial growth during the year with revenues of 5.1 million Pounds compared to nil in 2008.

The overall gross profit amounted to 8.3 million Pounds compared to 7.3 million Pounds in 2008.

Through the continued revision of its non-NHS charge rates, the business has managed to reverse some of the downward pressures on its margins which, combined with the addition of the new higher margin Doctors business and additional focus being placed on permanent placements in the nursing division, has led to the improvement of the overall gross margin to 20.6% compared to 19% in 2008.

During 2009 management made some significant cost savings, however, the majority of these were offset by the additional costs associated with developing the new Doctors recruitment business and the opening of offices in new geographical locations. Further expense was incurred on the review and improvement of many of the Group's internal processes, procedures and handbooks which had suffered from a degree of historic underinvestment.

Further unbudgeted expenditure was incurred on improving the compliance status of the temporary workforce including a free nationwide vaccination programme for Measles, Mumps and Rubella and Influenza.

Operating expenses before financing charges, depreciation, amortisation of intangibles and impairment of goodwill and intangible assets amounted to 8.3 million Pounds compared to 7.6 million Pounds in 2008.

The Group made a loss before tax of 1.3 million Pounds compared to a loss before tax of 7.2 million Pounds in 2008.

Commenting on the results, David Hope, Chief Operating Officer & Finance Director of Pinnacle, said "2009 has been a challenging year for Pinnacle where the focus of the Board has been on transforming the internal processes of the Group to make it a more robust and efficient business that is better placed to cope with the increasing regulatory demands of the temporary healthcare staffing market."
"The changes that we have made to the business, combined with revised pricing on the new NHS Frameworks for Nursing, have enabled us to develop further our relationships with NHS Organisations. Despite a disappointing final quarter to the year, caused in part by the severe weather in December, the level of NHS interest in using reasonably priced quality staff from BNA has been exceptional. The challenge for the business in 2010 will be to use its resources effectively to capitalise on these growth opportunities."

While Pinnacle has identified new business opportunities and believes that its core nursing brands have potential to extend their geographical reach and effectiveness, the Company is in the middle of a strategic review and acknowledges problems with underperforming branches, lack of dedicated resources to take advantage of opportunities in care supply to Primary Care Trusts, and the levelling off of commission run-rates in its Doctors business.

As of last trade Pinnacle traded at 4.50 Pence, -16.36% below its 52-week high of 5.38 Pence, set on 6 April 2010



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