Shares in Cpl surge 7.75%

Shares in Cpl surge 7.75%

Shares in recruitment firm Cpl rose 7.75% as it posted a 23% rise in profits which showed little effects so far of Brexit uncertainty.

Cpl posted a pre-tax profit of €11m in the six months to the end of December, as revenues rose 9% to €278.6m.

The firm which operates in Ireland, the UK, and the continent said it tapped growth in its finance and technology divisions.

Cpl said it remained conscious of the threat of Brexit and other geopolitical issues.

However, a hard Brexit would provide "opportunities and challenges" for different industries, it said.

Chairman John Hennessy said: "As we move into the second half of our financial year, we are closely monitoring activity levels in our key markets.

"We remain conscious of the impact of political, regulatory and economic events globally on our business, in particular Brexit. We operate in a cyclical industry which is sensitive to changes in economic activity within our core markets."

Mr Hennessy said current market conditions are favourable with high demand for talent and low unemployment rates in key markets.

"We remain confident in the outlook for the business and expect to deliver continued profitable growth for the remainder of the financial year," he said.

A spokeswoman for Cpl said that a hard Brexit would provide opportunities and challenges for different industries, but would inevitably have a negative impact on the Irish economy.

While it is still relatively uncertain, Brexit offers opportunities for our business while at the same time threats remain.

"It is not affecting investment in Ireland and job growth looks set to continue, therefore we are generally positive for our Irish business. The UK is a smaller market for us but remains an important one and we continue to work on our contingency plans post-March 29," she said.

The firm said it had adapted its business model to accommodate the changing nature of work globally, as well as using artificial intelligence to match candidates to clients.

Mr Hennessy said: "This combined with our investment in technology and the support of our partners will provide us with a strong platform for future growth.

Analysts Davy said that while the potential economic fall-out from an uncertain Brexit outcome remains an obvious risk, the strength of CPL's Irish franchise in technology, pharma, finance and healthcare "should see it weather any Brexit headwinds better than most".

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