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Staffline Group PLC: Structural growth – interesting entry point

Staffline (LON:STAF) is a leading outsourcing organisation, operating mainly in the UK and Eire, through two divisions – Staffline Recruitment and PeoplePlus. The shares have been one of the top growth plays in the staffing services sector in the last 15 years, but are currently trading at a discounted valuation.
Staffline Group PLC: Structural growth – interesting entry point

 

Staffline has delivered strong financial performance in the last 15 years, with average revenue growth of 25% p.a., and operating profit growth of 26% p.a. Details of the track record can be found at www.stafflinegroupplc.co.uk/investor-relations/investment-case/ 

Full report is available via Capital Network website
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Staffline Timeline

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August 22 2017

STRONG PROGRESS – VERSUS MIXED SECTOR BACKGROUND

Empresaria’s H1 results confirm the message of July’s trading update, and the outlook for the full year – continued growth in Net Fee Income (NFI) and EPS. Net Fee Income was up 26% (17% at constant FX), adj. Operating Profit +23% (9% at constant FX).

This has been delivered against a mixed background for the wider peer group. The big generalists such as Hays or Randstad have maintained growth, but some of the specialist peers (notably Impellam plc.) have encountered headwinds. Empresaria has benefitted, in our view, from a balanced geographic footprint and from its multi-niche customer industry base.

The company has noted that there has been a slowdown in hiring processes in the UK post-election, but overall the group is on track, and we maintain our FY forecast of 19.5% earnings growth, well ahead of the sector trend.

CONTRIBUTION FROM EXTERNAL INVESTMENTS

The biggest driver of H1 Net Fee Income and Operating profit was the contribution from the major investments made during 2016 - Rishworth Aviation and ConSol. We believe that the strategy of targeted external investments remains a key value driver going forward.

It is important to note that the operating profit growth has been achieved in spite of charges (£0.5m) for integration and growth enhancement, within the newer investments and also the existing portfolio. This is one of the reasons for the reduction in the conversion ratio (Net Fee Income into Operating Profit) to 14.2% from 14.8% a year earlier. We expect this conversion ratio to resume an upward trend as the benefits of these above-the-line investments feed through.

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November 22 2017

Empresaria released a trading update on November 21st, lowering the expected growth rate for FY2017 PBT. This was due to the weak market conditions in the Mideast which were flagged in the H1 results, and also to changes in legislation in Germany. The German issue, also previously know, relates to rules restricting the length of tenure for contract workers (Empresaria’s main focus) and the introduction of equal pay after 9 months. These rules take full effect in 2018, but employers appear to be adjusting their behaviour ahead of implementation

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