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UK-based recruiter Prime People (AIM:PRP) has seen “challenging” market conditions with revenue declining by -5% to £6.3 million in the six months to September due to a reduction in its domestic permanent recruitment business, the firm reported on Friday.
The company is exercising tight cost controls after gross profit in the period was down by -12% to £3.8 million from £4.3 million a year ago. This was due to a -12% fall of UK gross profit which was partially offset by a +7% increase in international gross profit.
Operating profit plummeted by -78% to £0.1 million while net income fell by -81% to 0.067 million.
Revenue declined across major markets. In the UK sales were down by -8%. In Asia, where the firm has made further investments in Hong Kong and Singapore, revenue fell by -2%. But in the Rest of the World, the firm’s smallest market, revenue improved by +21%.
”Subject to economic circumstances in the regions in which we operate not deteriorating further, we currently expect the businesses in the UK to perform in the second half in line with levels achieved in the first half. Internationally we are currently expecting an increase in performance compared with the period being reported,” said executive chairman, Robert Macdonald.
Prime People provides permanent and temporary recruitment services, mainly to the built environment sector.
As of last trade, the company’s share price remained unchanged at 49.00 pence, down -28% from a year ago and +22.50% above the 52-week low of 40.00 pence seen in September 2012. The firm has a market value of £5.83 million.