FINANCIALS: Gattaca report showcases key initiatives delivered in first half of 2024

Specialist engineering recruiter Gattaca has reported a net fee income (NFI) of £19.7m, down 13% year-on-year in interim results for the six months ended 31 January 2024.

However, the interim results also reflected several bright spots in the company’s financial progress from the last reporting period: Gattaca’s defence and technology, media & telecoms sectors, representing 25% of group NFI, delivered NFI growth of 12% and 10% respectively year-on-year, and Gattaca Projects Statement of Work business achieved 14% year-on-year NFI growth.

The report also showcased key initiatives delivered in the first half of 2024: among others, the building and deployment of a new business development team as part of the company’s investment in frontline sales capability, doubled the energy sales team with a focus on renewables, feedback on client and candidate service improved, and a 3% reduction in attrition from 33% to 30% at 31 January 2024.

Total sales headcount at the end of the half year was 306, down 1% from the start of FY 2024, with a view toward maintaining sales force in readiness for the market to return and “rebalanced to have greater critical mass in future focus areas”, the firm said.

“After two years of substantial change under our business strategy, we are settling into our ‘continuous improvement’ phase,” Gattaca said in its report.

Speaking with Recruiter on Tuesday [16 April 2024], Gattaca CEO Matthew Wragg also discussed the phenomenon of ‘boomerang’ hires the company is experiencing, meaning former employees who rejoin the business. 

“I think we’re up to almost 30 boomerangs we’ve brought back in now in the time I’ve been in the (CEO) seat, which is really pleasing,” Wragg said. 

“And if I look at my leadership team now, I’ve got a really nice combination of almost a third who have been homegrown and developed, a third of people who used to be with us who have come back in and really want to be part of our journey, and another third come from other markets and organisations. That cross-pollination of knowledge, insight and unity as a team because we all want to be there, I think, is hopefully a powerful place to be.”

He noted that the firm has already undergone a significant technology transformation and has “sorted out” their previous financial position of major debt to having net cash of £22.3m, up from £21.6m at 31 July 2024. 

For the rest of FY 2024, people are a key focus for Wragg. “We’ve gone through all of our structural and digital changes, so it’s about everybody harnessing that,” the CEO said. 

Gattaca has also experienced significant tragedy this year, with the sudden death of chief sales officer Grahame Carter, who was killed in a skiing accident in Switzerland on 7 February while on holiday with family and friends. 

“From an emotional point of view, the business has been through a very tough time, a very tough quarter with the passing of my best mate and chief sales officer and a 20-plus year servant to the organisation,” Wragg said.

The loss of the well-loved Carter has helped further unify the organisation, he said, “and I think it’s about how we continue to come together as a business. It’s probably demonstrated to us all how far forward we’ve moved culturally”.

“My focus is on my team, making sure we are doing the right things, challenged and supported in the right way, and ready and fighting fit for the market when it recovers, which it will,” Wragg said. “It always does.”

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