Recruitment services firm Norman Broadbent saw its shares
slump on Wednesday after its annual losses widened on broadly flat group revenue.
The pre-tax loss for 2013 totalled £1.08m (2012: loss £0.07m) on revenue of £7.55m (2012: £7.63m), partially reflecting the increase in investment in the new subsidiary businesses and losses from its offices in Singapore and the US.
The group also suffered a reduction in UK executive search revenues, which it said reflected a fall in fee generating headcount during the year, albeit with higher profitability.
Cash levels at the year-end fell to £0.58m from £1.01m a year earlier.
Chairman Pierce Casey said: "In 2013 we continued to invest in growing our enhanced suite of service offerings and your board believes that our management teams are well placed to successfully execute our broadened strategy profitably. Since year end, your company has streamlined its international operations, refocusing on our core executive search and leadership consulting businesses in the UK and USA, and Arcus and Connecting Corporates."
The group has sold Norman Broadbent SPRL, its 51%-owned Belgian subsidiary to existing management, agreed to sell its 20% stake in Norman Broadbent Spain, and terminated the Norman Broadbent executive search and leadership consulting licences in Italy and the Middle East /North Africa, both on a mutually agreed basis.
He added: "[Our] renewed focus now provides for a streamlined group, with control of the Norman Broadbent brand worldwide."
Shares in Altitude jumped by a fifth after it revealed all of its businesses were performing ahead of expectations following what it described as a year of "significant change".
The information and technology services group delivered a small rise in annual revenue, from £4.07m to £4.20m, although the cost of sales climbed from £0.82m to £0.99m and admin costs rose from £4.23m to £5.39m.
Pre-tax profit climbed from £0.69m to £1.94m.
Executive Chairman Stephen Yapp said: "The group has demonstrated its ability to adapt to significant change in 2013. These changes, together with a good cash position and the continued investment in our people alongside our product and technology offering, will enable the group to innovate and meet our customers' evolving needs.
"The year has started well with all businesses performing ahead of expectations and the board remains confident in the group's growth prospects."
During the 12-month period, the group restructured its core geographical operations and defined resources to explore and develop new markets and opportunities for its existing technologies.
It established a new management structure, invested in its core technology, improved the visibility of the long-term funding of the group, and strengthened resources to position itself for growth.
Net cash at the year-end stood at £0.5m.