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Australia – Skilled Group: Share price drop remains mystery

14 June 2013

Australian staffing company Skilled Group (SKE:ASX) has denied rumours that information potentially leaked to the market resulted in a sharp fall in the company’s share price on Thursday, together with an increase in trading volumes.

Skilled Group dominates the Australian staffing market with almost twice the market share of its closest rivals, according to research by Staffing Industry Analysts.

The recruiter was questioned by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) over a recent fall in the company’s share price from AUD 2.47 on 11 June to a low of AUD 2.08 yesterday, a decline of nearly -16%. The ASX asked the recruiter for an explanation of the decrease in the stock price and the increase in trading volumes on Thursday.

“We have noted a change in the price … we have also noted an increase in the volume of trading,” the ASX stated in a letter to Skilled. It asked the company to respond as soon as possible to its query whether it was aware of any information which “has not been announced by the market” and “which, if known by some in the market” could explain the recent trading.

Skilled said it was unaware of “any information that has not been announced, which if known, could be an explanation for recent trading in it securities.” It added that it was not aware of any other explanation.

Following today’s announcement, the firm’s share price rose +4% to AUD 2.18, a decrease of -4% from a year ago. Based on this stock price, the firm has a market value of USD 467.25 million (AUD 490.42 million).

In a trading update last month, the company said it experienced continued volatility and reduced demand in the mining sector. The firm recently posted a +23% rise in net profit during the six months to December 2012. Sales revenue was up +4% to USD 999.5 million (AUD 973.6 million) in the period.

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