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UK-based staffing specialist Work Group (WORK:LSE) today reported that revenue dropped -15% to £18.4 million last year as trading became more challenging. Revenue declined across the UK, its largest division, and the US. But sales improved elsewhere in Europe and the Rest of the World region.
The firm operates through its main businesses, Armstrong Craven (executive search) and Work Communications (recruitment in the sub-£80k salary bracket).
Last year, gross profit dropped -11% to £11.6 million. The recruiter made an overall loss of £8.1 million, compared to a profit of £31,000 in the previous year. It said that total exceptional costs of £8.0 million have been charged in 2012 of which £7.9 million were related to impairment losses.
Chairman Simon Howard said: “The continued changes in the market for our services place increased emphasis on our ability to invest in sales and marketing in order to compensate for the increased 'churn' of client projects. At the same time we have to minimise overheads in the middle and back office in order to improve profitability.
“While overall economic conditions may be forecast to improve slightly, they are not expected to lead to any significant upturn in employers' expenditure. So we remain cautious in our outlook; but we are confident that the major changes that we have made to the business in 2012 will allow us to benefit rapidly from any upturn.”
In early trading this morning, the company’s share price was up +1% to 373.40 pence. Based on its stock price, the firm has a market value of £535.10 million.