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Outsourcing buoys Nash

RECRUITMENT and outsourcing firm Harvey Nash said trading in the six months to June has remained in line with expectations, thanks to its broad portfolio of services.<br /><br />The company said that the recession had driven a decline in demand for its recruitment services, but that this had been offset by the performance of its IT outsourcing operations.<br /><br />Revenue for the six-months was in line with the previous year, while gross profit was down by just five per cent. Trading cash flow was strong, it said, and operating profits are expected to exceed &pound;2m for the period. <br /><br />&ldquo;The group is trading resiliently in the current difficult environment, although visibility remains limited&rdquo; the FTSE Fledgling-listed firm said, adding that it was in a strong financial position to fund growth when the upturn arrives.<br /><br />&ldquo;The diversity of its service offering appears to be key, with its IT outsourcing business taking some of the sting out of the ongoing weak demand we continue to see in recruitment services,&rdquo; said Panmure Gordon analyst Paul Jones. Panmure is cautious on recruitment companies, and the broker does not believe the recovery in the industry will come as quickly as some investors are betting on.