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Clarius Group (CND:ASX) expects a slow recovery after revenue fell -9% to AUD 123.0 million (USD 127.1 million) in the six months to December 2012. The firm blamed a slowdown in the permanent recruitment market, particularly in the IT sector, as well as falling demand for contract staff.
Gross profit in the half-year period was down to AUD 19.5 million (USD 20.1 million) from AUD 24.3 million (USD 25.1 million) a year earlier. This reflects lower demand and margin pressure. The firm also posted a net loss after tax of AUD 0.5 million (USD 0.5 million), compared to a net profit of AUD 1.3 million (USD 1.3 million) a year ago.
Looking ahead, the company said: “The outlook continues to be conservative with some signs that hiring sentiment is improving – however, any indication that this is going to impact hiring activity is yet to be seen.”
In trading today, the company’s share price fell by a sharp -10.8% to AUD 0.290. Based on its stock price, the firm has a market value of AUD 29.11 million (USD 30.0 million).
Clarius has offices across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and China. The firm specialises in permanent and temporary staffing to sectors such as IT, accounting, banking and engineering.