InterQuest Group's reception in Cannon Green, clover pattern on the wall in light oak

InterQuest Group plc Trading Update

Pubished 1st December 2016

InterQuest Group plc (AIM: ITQ.L), the specialist recruiter, today announces the following trading update ahead of its full year results for the twelve months to 31 December 2016 which will be announced on 7 March 2017.

Following a period of underperformance in the Company's London based digital division of ECOM it has been necessary to restructure the division and revise the sectors the business focuses on. This change is to counter lower than expected volume of work from the agency sector, which has reduced significantly from the end of Q2 and beginning of Q3. InterQuest has implemented significant annualised cost savings and restructured ECOM London to meet the challenges of this lower level of activity in talent acquisition. The performance of ECOM London remains weaker than initially forecast but is showing continued improvement since the summer period.

In addition to the underperformance by ECOM, there have been lower levels of demand in the public sector compared to 2015 and a small number of large value placements have been delayed into 2017. As a consequence the Company now expects that net fee income and EBITDA for the current financial year will be below market expectations.

Looking forward the underlying technology markets that the Company serves should deliver structural growth in the medium to long term. As a result of taking action, InterQuest has seen an improvement in profitability since August and the acquisition of RDW, a permanent search business, in August 2016 has immediately contributed to profits and generated cross selling opportunities.

The Company has seen an improvement in average permanent fees and margins on professional contractors have also increased since 2015. The Company's Recruitment Solutions business has added one further managed service client and remains robust.

Gary Ashworth, Non-Executive Chairman commented:

"I am pleased with the progress that the new management team has made in restructuring underperforming divisions of the Company but acknowledge the challenges the business has faced this year. We continue to focus on building InterQuest to be the market leading "digital transformation" recruitment business.

The information contained within this announcement constitutes inside information under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No.596/2014


InterQuest Group Plc
David Bygrave (CFO)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7025 0100

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited (Nomad and Broker)
Karri Vuori or Dominic Morley
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7886 2500