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Gattaca swings to profit; announces board changes amid transformation

24th Oct 2023 12:23

(Alliance News) - Gattaca PLC on Tuesday said it swung to a profit in the year ended July 31, despite a dip in revenue.

For the year ended July 31, the Whiteley, England-based recruitment services provider swung to a pretax profit of GBP2.8 million from a GBP4.7 million loss the year prior, as administrative expenses fell by 17% to GBP41.0 million from GBP49.2 million.

However, revenue slipped 4.6% to GBP385.2 million from GBP403.9 million the year before.

Gattaca declared an ordinary dividend of 2.5 pence for the financial year, as well as a special dividend of 2.5p. Last year, Gattaca had paused its dividend payments after turning to an annual loss.

Looking ahead, Gattaca said permanent recruitment remains "subdued", and is therefore increasing its focus on contractor growth. For financial 2024, the company said it expects a more weighted second half.

Chief Executive Officer Matthew Wragg said: "I am pleased with the performance in the year, against a difficult market backdrop. A significant growth in underlying profitability reflects the group's focus on productivity improvements and cost management, whilst a positive shift in culture is strengthening the business as whole. Whilst our sales progress has been impacted by the decline in the wider market, I am pleased that we were able to continue to simplify the business this year along with managing our cost base and continue to trade in line with expectations for [financial 2024].

"We are well positioned to take advantage of the expected recovery in the market and will look to grow our sales headcount where we see the best opportunities for contract expansion, whilst we continue to focus on our strategic priorities enabling us to further strengthen our platform for growth."

On Tuesday the company also announced changes to its board, saying that Richard Bradford will succeed Patrick Shanley as independent non-executive chair following the company's annual general meeting on December 6. Bradford is currently chair of InHealth Group Ltd, a partner at InHealth Ventures Ltd, and deputy chair of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network.

In addition, its founder and largest shareholder, George Materna, will also retire from board following the AGM. "George founded the business nearly 40 years ago and has made a major contribution to the group. George has been a non-executive director on the board for over 15 years. He has stated his intention to retain his existing shareholding in the group," the company said.

"This refresh to the board composition takes place alongside the ongoing implementation of the business transformation plan, focused on developing the group's four key strategic priorities," said Gattaca.

The board will comprise of Matthew Wragg and Oliver Whittaker as CEO and chief financial officer respectively, David Lawther and Tracey James as independent non-executive directors, with Richard Bradford as independent non-executive chair.

Shanley commented: "Last year we accelerated the changes at board level with the appointment of Matt Wragg as CEO and Oliver Whitaker as CFO. We were able to do so as succession planning was at the core of our nomination committee strategy. Both have settled very well into their roles and are one of the main reasons we feel that now is the right time to reshape the board to reflect what is required for the next stage of the group's development. Passing on the baton is never easy, but in Richard we have someone who both knows the business well and can bring a fresh perspective."

Shares in Gattaca were up 4.6% at 103.00 pence each in London on Tuesday.

By Sabrina Penty, Alliance News reporter

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