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Penna Consulting revenues soar 72%, but shares plummet on public sector hiring freeze


Penna Consulting (LON:PNA) called 2009/10 a “very successful year,” which saw revenues soar 72%  as profits jumped 22%, yet a repeat is unlikely this year due to a recently announced freeze in public sector hiring. Despite the strong financial results shares in the company tumbled 40%.

Revenues reached £108.5 million, while net revenues rose 19% to £50.9 million and like for likes stayed roughly unchanged at £62.3 million compared to last year’s £63.2 million. Pre-tax profits were up 22% to £7.3 million and £3.6 million post exceptional items.

Net cash decreased from £8.9 million to £5.3 million.

Penna Consulting said that the business would be impacted in the first half of the year and it would post only marginal profits, expecting a much stronger performance in the second half, boosted by a recovery in private sector employment. The group also stated that it was better “position than competitors” to operate in the new environment.

“We have completed a very successful year with strong profit growth and we have also taken significant steps towards achieving our strategy to become the leading HR services firm in the UK. The current year will be challenging for all UK recruitment businesses and we believe that because Penna has a major Career Transition business we are in a stronger position than many of our competitors in the HR services sector,” said Chairman of Penna Consulting Stephen Rowlinson.

During the year, the business was reorganized into four service groups, Recruitment & Marketing Communications, Resourcing, Executive Recruitment & Interim and HR Consulting. The group said that the integration of recruitment marketing and advertising agency Barkers, which was acquired in June 2009 for £8.6 million, had gone “smoothly” and was now complete.

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Market: AIM
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