Blue-collar recruiter Staffline said on Monday that it had seen a booming first quarter as firms’ hiring gathers pace with the vaccine rollout.
In the three months to April, the agency said it saw underlying operating profit up 133% compared to the same period in 2020, as market conditions “improved” and business confidence “heightened”,
The company said it is "seeing increased activity from clients in some of those sectors most adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, such as manufacturing, retail and convenience foods”.
Chief executive, Albert Ellis, said: “We've yet to be fully released from the constraints of the Covid-19 restrictions but we have already seen positive signs of recovery as we exited the first quarter of 2021."
It comes after the Standard revealed a “war for talent” is underway across London as firms spanning financial services, legal, PR and construction launch hiring sprees to rebuild their top tiers after a year of pain.
Staffline, which in October revealed a three-year extension to its long-running contract to supply workers to Tesco, reported revenues of £928 million for the year to December 31, down from £1.06 billion in 2019. Underlying operating profits were up 66% on 2019 to £4.8 million.
The company also said that it expects to “benefit from the incremental increase in government spending on re-skilling” once the furlough scheme ends.
The furlough scheme is still supporting more than 5 million British jobs, and experts have warned of a tsunami of unemployment once it wraps up.
Ellis said the firm's restructure made “significant progress” in 2020 and that it is “now well-placed to capitalise on a number of exciting growth opportunities”.
He said: "I am extremely confident in our ability to build on the momentum from the start of the year."
Shares were up 7%, or 4.9p, to 74p on Monday morning.