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UK – Empresaria trading update in line with market expectations, net fee income to rise 4%

23 January 2019

Empresaria (AIM: EMR), the UK-based international specialist staffing group, provided a trading update for the financial year ended 31 December 2018.

According to the Board, Empresaria has delivered profit in line with current market expectations for the financial year ended 31 December 2018.

The group is expected to deliver a 4% increase in both net fee income and adjusted profit before tax against the prior year. The Board added that this profit represents another historic high level for the group. However, Empresaria said that due to the mix of profit across brands with different non-controlling interests, diluted adjusted earnings per share is now expected to be slightly lower than the prior year.

There was a growth in profit over the prior year in three of our four regions, the UK, Asia Pacific and Americas, with notably strong performances from IMS (Offshore Recruitment Services), Alternattiva (outsourcing, perm and temporary business in Chile), LMA (professional services), ConSol Partners (IT) and Rishworth (Aviation).

This helped offset the expected weaker results from Headway (technical & industrial) and Skillhouse (IT) due to the previously highlighted changes to temporary worker legislation in Germany and Japan.

“With these legislation changes now in place, our businesses in these countries are now focused on rebuilding their temporary worker levels during 2019,” the group stated.

In July 2018 the group finalised its investment in Grupo Solimano, a provider of outsourced and temporary staffing services in Peru.

“We are pleased with its performance since joining the group, which has been in line with our expectations,” Empresaria stated.

Spencer Wreford, Chief Executive Officer of Empresaria, commented, "This result again demonstrates the benefit of Empresaria's diversified business model, delivering another year of profitable growth, despite regulatory challenges in two of our key markets. We are focused on delivering organic growth and in line with this we are pleased to have launched a new brand, 4ward Talent, at the end of last year to focus on the volume IT sector as well as new office openings this month in Brisbane, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand for recruitment in the creative, digital and marketing sectors.”

"We are investing approximately £0.5 million in 2019 to strengthen our central management team, including the appointment of Rhona Driggs as Chief Operating Officer in November 2018. This will enable us to increase the support to our brands in the key areas of business development, technology, training and marketing to drive incremental value as part of our strategy to build leading brands in niche sectors. We have a clear vision to be a leading, international, specialist staffing Group, and are confident we have a plan in place to deliver on this,” Wreford said.

The trading update comes ahead of the group’s final results due on 13 March 2019.

As of last trade Empresaria Group traded at £66.48, down 0.78% on the day and 2.27% above its 52-week low of £65.00, set on 15 January 2019. Based on its current share price the company has a market value of £32.84 million.

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