Empresaria Group plc ("Empresaria" or the "Group"), the international specialist staffing group, today issues a trading update for its financial year ended 31 December 2010, ahead of its preliminary results for the period which it expects to announce on 31 March 2011.
Chief Executive Miles Hunt said: "The Group's results for 2010 will be in line with market expectations that were revised upwards on a number of occasions over the year, most recently following the half year results announcement on 9 September 2010.
Year end reported net debt has been reduced to £5.5m, despite investing £2m in the acquisition of minority shareholdings during the course of the year and in working capital to support a £32m increase in revenue. The Group's second half performance was positive across all regions and we are now seeing tangible returns from our investment in developing international staffing markets.
Although the poor weather in the UK and Continental Europe in December had some financial impact, this was compensated for by stronger than expected performance in our other regions. In Asia we have benefited from a combination of maturing businesses moving from early stage development to material profit contribution as well as from underlying economic growth in the region. In Continental Europe, where 90% of regional net fee income is derived from Germany and Austria, we are benefiting from structural growth in the still immature German temporary staffing market as well as from a strong German economy.
Our focus in the UK on developing temporary staffing operations away from the public sector has created stable and growing revenue streams. In addition, we have benefited from an exposure to recovering market sectors, particularly professional and financial services.
We continue to experience broadly positive market conditions across all regions. We are maintaining our focus on strengthening existing operations and are using internal expertise to expand our more successful brands into new regions and markets. In recent months we have opened new offices in China and Australia and developed a "hub" concept in Singapore, enabling four Group companies to open up new regional offices in the territory, gaining access to new markets at reduced cost and risk. Although the continued macro-economic environment necessitates caution in forward planning and prediction, the Board does expect that the Group's results for the year ending 31 December 2011 will be ahead of current market expectations."