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Netherlands – Brunel benefits from strong growth in Energy

02 March 2012

Brunel International (BRI:AEX), the staffing, project management, recruitment and consultancy services group, today reported a +36% increase of annual revenues in 2011 of €979.9 million, up from €720.9 million in the previous year.

Gross profit in the year also went up to €193.6 million from €152 million in 2010, a rise of +27%, but the gross profit margin dropped slightly from 21.1% to 19.8%.

Net income for the period ended 31 December 2011 also rose to €43.1 million from €25.6 million in 2010.

For Q4 2011, the firm reported a +36% increase of revenue which reached €291 million in the quarter, up from €214 million. The Group also commented that Brunel Energy realised the largest increase in revenues (+47%) compared to last year, followed by Germany (+26%) and The Netherlands (+9%). The main driver for growth in the Energy division are offshore projects in Australia, the firm said.

Despite this growth, the gross margin fell from 21.3% in Q4 2010 to 18.9% in Q4 2011 although gross profit went up +21% amounting to €55.1 million from €45.6 million in the same quarter last year. The firm explained that the decrease in gross margin was caused by two fewer working days in Europe and the increased share of Energy offshore project revenue.

Jan Arie van Barneveld, CEO Brunel International said that “Our company, organisation and business developed extremely well in 2011.With a revenue growth of 36% and an increase in EBIT of 72% the growth rates are excellent. The results are a mere reflection of our strategy which in essence is simple, we aim to further expand globally in the specialised technical sector. We have also proven to be less vulnerable to the general economic conditions and are confident that the entrepreneurial culture with a strong focus on the quality of our service to the clients will drive further growth.”

Regional Performance

The firm said that as a result of the varying growth rates, the revenue mix has changed. Whereas The Netherlands, Germany and Energy accounted for respectively 14%, 14% and 70% of Q4 2011 revenue, these percentages were 18%, 15% and 65% in Q4 2010.

In the Netherlands, revenues went up +9% to €41.4 million from €38 million in the previous quarter. Gross profit increased by +1% to €41.2 million from €14 million while the gross margin dropped from 36.8% in Q4 2010 to 34.1% in Q4 2011. The firm said that the average number of fee earners in 2011 continued to increase in the country, resulting in “higher productivity.” In the industrial sector, which is said to slow down, the firm’s Engineering business line performed well although it was the Dutch Finance business that contributed most to the increase of revenues in both the quarter and the full year.

In Germany revenue in Q4 2011 went up +26% to €39.7 million from €31.6 million in Q4 2010. Gross profit increased +24% to €15.6 million from €12.6 million while the gross margin dropped by -0.5% from 39.7% to 39.2%. The firm said that during the year the number of fee earning employees grew continuously and at the end of 2011, the Group increased its headcount by +27%  to 1,815 from 1,433 in the previous year. 

In Belgium revenues in the quarter remained flat at €5.8 million while gross profit increased +11% from €1.3 million to €1.4 million. The gross margin also increased in Q4 2011 by over 2% at 25% in Q4 2011, compared to 22.6% in Q4 2010.

Tor the full year revenue in Belgium increased by +12% to €23.8 million (2010: €21.3 million). The additional revenue was realised by an increase in the Engineering business line while the firm said that the ICT business line, mainly providing services to the financial services industry, is experiencing difficult market conditions.

Brunel Energy, which specialises in geoscience, engineering, construction and other operations in the field, reported an increase of revenue in Q4 2011 of +47% from €138 million in Q4 2010 to €202 million. Gross profit increased by +34% to €23.5 million, compared with €17.6 million in Q4 2011 although the gross margin fell from 12.8% to 11.6% in the quarter.

The firm said that Brunel Energy realised its highest ever quarterly revenue, which is mainly driven by the increased project revenue on offshore projects in Australia and continued growth in South East Asia and the Americas. Hence the Energy division’s full year revenue also increased by €188 million to €642 million.

Although the firm reported an increase of revenues in this division, business in Europe and Africa has slowed down slightly when compared to last year, something  which “has been a trigger for a restructuring of operations in the region currently in progress,” the firm said.

Brunel International is a Dutch provider of staffing and placement services. The firm has over 90 branches in over 30 countries and concentrates its activities on the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Canada, and on industry segments such as oil and gas, automotive, rail, aerospace and telecommunications. According to Staffing Industry Analysts latest research of top staffing firms in the Netherlands, the firm is ranked 11th in the country.

In early trading today, Brunel’s share price was down slightly by -1% to €30.07, up 4% from a year ago and -14.05% below its 52-week high of €34.99 cents, set on 10 May 2011. This values the company at €710.75 million.

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