CPL shares begin revival

Shares in leading Irish recruiter CPL Resources yesterday clawed back around half of the losses seen since June’s Brexit vote, on the back of the group posting record annual revenues.

The Dublin-based firm reported annual revenues of €433.4m for the 12 months to the end of June, up 10% on the previous year, with adjusted pre-tax profits 22% ahead at just under €17.4m and earnings per share up by 9% at 43.9c.

Despite noting a “challenging and highly competitive environment”, CPL’s chairman John Hennessy said “employment trends and economic indicators are broadly positive in our principal markets, and we expect to continue to grow profitably in the months ahead.”

Chief executive Anne Heraty added that “the investments we made over the past 18 months in people, in technology and in our talent innovation hub are paying off”.

CPL said that demand was strong for both permanent and temporary job roles — across most sectors — during the year, with revenues rising by 21% and 18% respectively.

Healthcare was a prime driver of growth in the permanent recruitment sector. In all, the company placed more than 12,000 staff in various industries during the 12 months, representing yearly growth of nearly 17%.

CPL’s shares rose by just over 4.1%, to €5.55, yesterday. While still down by around 12% from where they started the year, the shares are now 10% down on where they sat at the time of the Brexit vote; having been more than 20% down in mid-July.

Analysts are expecting to marginally update their own forecasts for the company for the coming 12 months.

“While CPL will have more visibility on trading at its October agm, we believe that there has been no immediate shock from Brexit and the company carries good momentum into financial year 2017,” said Ross Harvey at Davy Stockbrokers.

Meanwhile, rival recruiter Hays yesterday referred to conditions in the UK jobs market as “tough but broadly sequentially stable”.

In its annual results it noted net fee income growth of 24% in Ireland and operating profit growth of 14% for its UK and Ireland operations together.

CPL has net fee income exposure to the UK market and Hays said it remained aware of increased concern over economic outlook negativity impacting client and candidate confidence.

Davy said that while the impact of Brexit remains hard to determine, CPL “has flexibility in its cost base and can moderate growth plans.”


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