AIM-quoted recruitment consultancy Nakama Group posted stable revenue but a decline in pre-tax profit for the half year ended September 30th, admitting it had been a 'challenging' period for the firm.
Revenue for the six months totally £8.63m (2012: £8.64m), with a 3% increase in net fee income (NFI) to £2.13m (2012: £2.08m), boosted by increased permanent placement fees overall. Pre-tax profit fell to £61,235 (2012: £141,029).
The group reported making some "important strategic hires" and increased its ability to deliver within a broader set of digital markets.
Looking ahead to the second half, the group said its performance so far was in line with expectations and anticipated an improvement overall.
Chairman Ken Ford commented: "Whilst trading conditions in the UK remain challenging [...] we expect to continue to build on these foundations across the board and grow net fee incomes over forthcoming trading periods.
"Furthermore, we have seen client growth across the APAC regions, with increased demand in the media and technology spaces, e-commerce, Search Engine Management /Search Engine Optimisation (SEM/SEO) throughout the region. Pleasingly the digital market continues to grow, as clients all look to expand their internal capabilities.
"We are therefore optimistic for the second half and look forward to meeting head on, what is still a challenging marketplace, but one on which we feel we are strategically well placed to capitalise."
InterContinental Hotels Group disappointed investors with the news that its revenue per available room (RevPAR) for its US and Americas brands in the nine months ended September 30th grew 4.5 per cent, driven predominantly by a 2.9 per cent increase in rates.
For the third quarter ended on the same date RevPar growth was 3.5%, and 1.6% in September alone, which was softer than the trend from preceding months, reflecting slower group business, as seen across the industry as a whole, following the earlier timing of certain holidays.
"Current trading trends give us confidence for the rest of the year and our strategy for high quality growth positions us well for continuing success into the future," the group said.
The company's third quarter trading was a bit below expectations at, analysts at Panmure Gordon point out, with a weak showing for the Americas in September (RevPar up 3.7% and the US at 1.6%), due to Holiday Inn.
As well, the broker believes RevPar expectations may edge back a bit for the fourth quarter in both Americas and Greater China, to which one must add a strengthening sterling.
With the shares
changing hands at 18.9 times 2014 earnings per share Panmure reiterates its recommendation to hold.