(Alliance News) - Headhunter Norman Broadbent PLC on Monday posted a swing to profit for 2019 but said it expects the UK recruitment market to take some time to recover from the hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shares in the professional services firm were trading 7.4% lower at 6.02 pence each on Monday morning in London, but 17% lower since the start of the year.
For 2019, Norman Broadbent posted revenue of GBP11.5 million, up 22% from GBP9.4 million. Pretax profit came in at GBP84,000, swinging from a loss of GBP741,000 in the year prior.
Turning to current trading, it said that following the emergence of the Covid-19 virus, it implemented measures such as introducing remote working and making changes to its staff including cutting some jobs and placing some on furlough.
Looking ahead, the London-based company said it expects to bring back furloughed employees this year but warned that its trading and liquidity could be hurt if the pandemic leads to further reductions in the size of the UK recruitment & search markets, or if government support is reduced or removed. It added it expects government support measures to continue with schemes such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme - which is currently unavailable to the company - to see a change in criteria.
"Having posted a positive set of 2019 group results, we came into 2020 with good momentum and plans for further growth. Then, we, like many businesses, have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. While the likely duration and overall severity of Covid-19's economic impact is not yet known, we assume it will take some time for the overall UK search and recruitment market to recover, said Chief Executive Mike Brennan.
"Notwithstanding that, the early and decisive actions taken by us, combined with our broader portfolio of services, leaves us better placed to respond to these challenges than many. Similarly, our collaborative and innovative culture will stand us in good stead when compared to more traditional and siloed competitors," he added.
By Ife Taiwo; email@example.com.
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