Harvey Nash, a global professional recruitment and outsourcing group, cheered investors on Wednesday morning with the news its full year results for the period ended January 31st are set to be slightly ahead of recently upgraded expectations, prompting a 10 per cent increase in its final dividend payment.
Total revenue will be in the region of £590m, compared to £533m the previous year, with gross profit of around £80m (2012: £78.5m), and profit before tax of around £8.6m, £0.1m higher than that achieved the previous year.
In a pre-close trading update, the company made the following statement: "Demand for highly skilled technology professionals has created skills shortages in the mobile and digital segments of the technology market. Clients, particularly in Europe, have continued to favour flexible contract and temporary hiring over permanent and executive recruitment.
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"However, there has been continued demand for outsourcing and offshoring. With its broad portfolio of services and leading market positions, the group has been very well placed to capitalise on these trends during the year.
"The group has also benefitted from significantly increased market share in the UK and Ireland, temporary and contract recruitment in the Benelux and Germany, and a steadily improving result from Asia, where investment in two additional offices in Hong Kong and Sydney was made during the course of 2012."
Harvey Nash also said the integration of the Talent IT business in Belgium, acquired on May 31st 2012, has gone well and results for the year have met expectations.
During the period the company returned to a positive net cash position of around £4.0m. The group plans to pay a final dividend of 1.795p per share (2012: 1.635p), resulting in an increase of 10% in the total dividend per share for the year (2012: 2.66p).
The company has also completed an agreement with The Royal Bank of Scotland to raise the total amount of facilities and headroom to around £52m (previously around £40m) with immediate effect to fund working capital as required when recruitment markets recover.
The share price rose 3.76% to 69p by 09:16.
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