Financial crisis forces back office IT rollout delay for Skilled

Labour and workforce provider, Skilled Group, in final stages of project

The global financial crisis has forced labour and workforce provider, Skilled Group (ASX: SKE), to delay a major rollout of its back office IT system.

Skilled posted financial results for first half of the 2010 financial year, a decline in the jobs market putting a major dent in the profitability of the company. Revenue was down 4 per cent to $844.5 million compared to the second half of the 2009 financial year and down 21 per cent on the previous comparative period (1H FY09).

EBITDA was $30.7 million, which was up 4.8 per cent compared to the second half of the 2009 financial year, but down 46 per cent on 1H FY09.

“The prior comparative period (1H FY09) was the strongest performance for Skilled Group in its history,” the company noted in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

The company is also in the final phase of rolling out shared services and IT back office systems, expected to be complete by the end of June.

“The final rollout of our back office IT system is now underway and will be complete by the end of this financial year,” managing director and chief executive officer, Greg Hargrave, said in a statement to the ASX. “This has been delayed somewhat as we balanced competing priorities, but with its completion, Skilled will have a scalable platform for progressively enhancing back office productivity over the next few years.”

Skilled has not declared a dividend, continuing to focus on conserving its cash reserves.

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