FINANCIALS: Staffline slashes profit forecasts again after ‘most challenging year’

Staffline has slashed its profit forecasts for the second time in three months after a difficult fourth quarter that brought to an end what the CEO describes as “a most challenging year”.

The recruitment and training company told the City that trading conditions had been particularly tough in November, where it saw a 16% drop in demand in its recruitment division. 

Although the company said trading improved in December, “the challenges to trading in quarter four” means it expects performance overall for the last three months to be below expectations. 

As a consequence, the company said it expects annual adjusted operating profits for 2019 to come in at between £10m and £12m. 

In the same statement to the City, the company said it now believes that its 2018 profits were overstated by £4m. This follows an internal review that identified accounting errors in its 2018 results, relating to costs that were not correctly booked, which resulted in the 2018 results being delayed.

Despite admitting “it has been a most challenging year”, CEO Chris Pullen struck an optimistic note. “Despite this we have developed two robust market-leading businesses, which are well set as platforms for future growth. We remain optimistic about future potential of the group with the challenges of 2019 behind us,” he said.

The company said it now has more than one million live candidates on its platform compared to a year ago, while its PeoplePlus division has experienced “significant growth”.

The company also announced it had appointed Daniel Quint as interim chief financial officer with immediate effect. He is replacing Mike Watts, who has stepped down. Quint was most recently interim CFO at AIM-listed Young & Co’s Brewery.

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