Recruitment group Nigel Wright has hailed a “record year” despite falling to an operating loss and breaching debt covenants.
The Newcastle firm saw turnover rise to £18.5m in the 12 months to April 30, 2019, up from £17.3m a year earlier.
But an operating profit of £89,000 a year earlier was turned into an £81,000 operating loss and the company also reported that it had breached covenants on external debt. A waiver was received on that breach, but not until after the year end.
The company said the loss and the covenant breach had come due to weak trading in December 2018 and January 2019, and added that there had been no subsequent breach in the past year.
In the accounts, director Mark Ingleson said that trading in the year had been “largely flat”.
He added: “Conditions are currently buoyant in all our markets and it is believed that targeted investment in core markets, involving the hiring, development and retention of key staff and continues focus on a productive and efficient cost base wil underpin future growth and margin improvement.”
Mr Ingleson added that the group was exposed to foreign currency flucations, particularly between sterling, the Euro and a number of currencies in Scandinavia. The company has nine offices in Europe, as well as six in the UK.
The accounts showed that the bulk of the group’s income – nearly £12m – came from the UK, along with all of its growth. Revenue in Europe fell slightly to £6.6m.
Headcount at the firm, which was founded Nigel Wright in in the late 1980s but bought by investment group Baird Capital Partners in 2010, grew slightly to 123.
In a statement to The Journal, CEO Nigel Wilson hailed the performance by the company’s Newcastle headquarters.
He added: “Whilst our markets throughout Europe remain competitive, we have focused our proposition on core market sectors and geographies, which have been delivered by providing outstanding customer service and seamless co-ordination.
“This has strengthened our regional brand within the North East of England alongside our international brand in helping European global consumer brands recruit the best leadership talent.
“The performance this year reflects the hard work and commitment of the management team and all the employees here at Nigel Wright. With strong rates of employment continuing across Europe and here in the UK, we remain in a strong position.”
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