Demand for skilled tech, finance and pharma workers helped push CPL further in the black

Pundits forecast the recruitment group is well-positioned to withstand economic challenges.

By Conor McMahon Deputy editor, Fora

GROWING DEMAND FOR skilled workers in the technology, finance and pharma sectors helped push recruitment group CPL further in the black.

The Dublin and London stock exchange-listed company reported revenues of €564.9 million for the 12 months to the end of June, up 8% on the previous year’s tally, while its pre-tax profits grew by 33% to €24.6 million.

CPL matches people with jobs across a variety of fields including administration and office support, healthcare and hospitality.

As well as filling vacancies for permanent positions, it operates a flexible working division, where in places contractors on shorter term roles. This accounted for just over 70% of CPL’s gross profit last year.

Reflecting a wider growing demand for flexible work, CPL’s ‘flexible talent’ unit recorded a net fee income of €68.6 million, up 21% on 2018′s earnings. 

In a review of the company’s results, chief executive Anne Heraty said CPL is “seeing strong demand for skilled talent, particularly in the technology, finance and pharma sectors”.

Heraty said demand for workers in those industries is “at a premium”.

“In today’s digitally driven marketplace companies are becoming increasingly dependent on technology to deliver for their customers and drive efficiency,” she said.

“This combined with increased regulation, compliance and the growing risks of cyber security indicates that the demand for technology and finance professionals will continue to grow.”

ibec-ceo-conferences CPL chief Anne Heraty
Source: Laura Hutton/

However, Heraty cautioned that the business will have to keep an eye on external economic trends.

“We are mindful of the potential macroeconomic challenges driven by Brexit and the potential for changes to levels of investment and employment within our client base.

“Should conditions change, we are prepared, we have flexibility in our cost base and we can moderate our growth plans,” Heraty said.

Commenting on CPL’s results, Gerry Hennigan, an analyst at Goodbody stockbrokers, this morning said that the potential economic fallout from Brexit uncertainty remains an “obvious risk”.

However, he added that “the strength of CPL’s Irish franchise, which accounts for over 80% of operating profit, should see it weather any Brexit headwinds better than most”.

Davy pundits Jack O’Halloran and Ross Harvey have forecast that CPL will “likely maintain a strong balance sheet in order to withstand any potential macroeconomic challenges that it may face”.

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