RNS Number : 9626W
Matchtech Group PLC
06 August 2009
6 August 2009
Matchtech Group plc
Matchtech Group plc ("Matchtech" or the "Group"), one of the UK's leaders in
specialist technical and professional recruitment, provides the following
trading update ahead of the publication of its preliminary results for the year
ended 31 July 2009 on Thursday 8 October 2009.
Trading in the twelve months ended 31 July 2009 has been in line with the
Board's expectations set at the time of issuing the Interim Results on 2 April
In the twelve months ended 31 July 2009 the Group has seen a 9% fall in Net Fee
Income ("NFI") on the previous year to £30.2m, with H1 up 8% and H2 down 24%.
The annual fall was predominantly due to a drop in demand for permanent
recruitment services in H2.
Permanent fees for the year were down 24% to £8.3m, with fees each quarter of
£3.0m, £2.2m, £1.7m and £1.4m. The Built Environment sector saw the largest
annual fall of 52% with Professional Services falling by 23% and Engineering by
NFI from contract placements was essentially unchanged from the previous year at
£21.9m with NFI each quarter of £6.0m, £5.4m, £5.5m and £5.0m. Built
Environment's annual fall was 5%, Engineering's 4%, whilst Professional Services
grew by 9%. Although contractor numbers have essentially remained stable since
31 January 2009, contract margins remained under pressure.
The resultant annual business mix was 73% (2008: 67%) of NFI generated from
The Group took early action on its cost base and staff numbers have reduced 20%
from their peak of 330 in December 2008 to 263 at 31 July 2009 with no
exceptional charges arising.
The Group continued to benefit from low net debt which at 31 July 2009 was £1.3m
(31 July 2008: £3.1m, 31 January 2009: £3.7m).
Short-term trading conditions remain challenging with no sign yet of any pick up
in the level of permanent recruitment and continued pressure on contract
margins. As a result the Board remains cautious with regard to the outlook for
2010 and its expectations have been re-set to reflect this trading environment.
The flexibility and cost benefits from the Group's single site model allow the
Board to continually review the Group's cost base, whilst maintaining the
underlying strength of the business ready for when the market improves. The
diversity of our industry sectors and our focus on clients with long term
infrastructure projects should continue to support our larger contract placement
activities, giving the business a level of resilience.
Matchtech continues to invest for the future and to pursue new organic growth
opportunities, extending the reach of our services which the Board is confident
will increase growth in the longer term.
Accordingly the Board believes that the Group is well positioned to trade
profitably and generate cash through the downturn and remains committed to its
existing dividend policy.
For further information please contact:
Matchtech Group plc 01489 898989
George Materna, Chairman
Adrian Gunn, Chief Executive Officer
Tony Dyer, Chief Financial Officer
Hogarth Partnership 020 7357 9477
John Olsen / Ian Payne
Arbuthnot Securities 020 7012 2000
Background on Matchtech (AIM: MTEC.L)
Established in 1984, Matchtech specialises in the provision of contract and
permanent staff and has grown organically to become one of the UK's leading
technical and professional recruitment specialists.
Operating from a single site near Southampton, Matchtech provides predominantly
professionally-qualified candidates to a broad range of clients across the UK in
the Engineering, Built Environment and Professional Services sectors.
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange