Online recruiter Saongroup's profits halved in past year
Pre-tax profits at Saongroup, the online recruiter majority owned by Denis O’Brien, roughly halved last year as the company continued to invest in growing its business worldwide.
Accounts released yesterday show that Dublin-based Saongroup Ltd made a pre-tax profit last year of €1.1 million compared with €2 million in 2010.
Turnover rose by 14 per cent to €31.7 million.
A tax charge of €1.2 million and another deduction left the company with a loss of €531,570 for the year as a whole.
This compared with a surplus of €1.3 million in 2010.
“The reduction in profitability was us making a decision to invest more in developing out the business, primarily in China,” Saongroup’s chief executive Ciarán McCooey told The Irish Times yesterday.
The recruiter started 2011 with operations in 20 cities in China. In March of this year it announced a €25 million investment to expand its activities there over three years.
Saongroup is currently represented in in 100 cities and expects this to grow to 130 by the middle of 2013.
“We’ve had very good growth in China,” Mr McCooey said. “The economy has slowed a little bit there but we’re operating in tier two and tier three cities and the main slowdown has been in Beijing and Shanghai.”
Irishjobs.ieis the domestic trading entity of Saongroup. Mr McCooey said it had achieved double-digit growth in 2011. “It had a good year,” he added.
On current trading, Mr McCooey said Saongroup was in line to achieve another year of double-digit revenue growth.
But ongoing investment in the business would result in a similar level of profitability.
“We’re trading in line with our expectations,” he said.
Online recruiting advertising accounted for €29.2 million of its turnover last year, up by 16 per cent.
Revenues from recruitment software declined by 7 per cent to €2.5 million.
Saongroup is 75 per cent owned by Mr O’Brien, with chairman Leslie Buckley owning the balance.
The company operates jobs websites in 29 countries. Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounted for €22.6 million of revenues last year with the rest of the world at just more than €9 million.