nGAGE Specialist Recruitment has reported strong growth in the first quarter of its financial year to June 2017 with NFI increasing 14% over last year to £13.6m and turnover being 17% ahead at £81m. This performance was driven by organic growth, including the continued development of its managed service businesses, the success of its start-up ventures and an exciting M&A programme.
nGAGE supports recruitment consultants to build and grow businesses which it believes have the potential to become leaders in their market niches. The latest new companies launched by nGAGE are Butler Rose and Myles Roberts. These firms are successfully leading the group’s expansion into the professional services sector. They are growing rapidly having doubled their combined profitability during the first quarter and are well placed to continue to grow strongly for the rest of the year.
nGAGE’s more established business have also continued to take advantage of the group’s model. Proactive, an engineering recruiter within the portfolio, recently secured a partnership with Amazon’s UK and EU operations to supply engineers across their expanding European network of fulfilment centres.
nGAGE had historically focused on public sector facing markets and serving the temporary staffing requirements of the UK’s public sector remains an important priority for the group. The recent challenges within the public sector are well-publicised. Despite these head winds, and the additional disruption of IR35 legislative reforms and introduction of NHS pay caps, the group’s public sector businesses have continued to perform well.
M&A is an important part of the growth plan and the group has been successful in completing two acquisitions during 2017. GCS, a provider of consultants to the IT and technology sectors, was acquired in May 2017 and QU Recruitment, a specialist in providing procurement professionals across a range of sectors, was also a welcome addition to the group in April 2017. Both businesses have already benefited significantly from being part of nGAGE including in the areas of strategic guidance and operational efficiency. These deals have reinforced the group’s technology and professional services sector and has expanded the group’s international footprint.
Tim Cook, nGAGE Group CEO, said, “Following the successful expansion of our engineering business in Germany we have made further steps into the international arena with offices in Dublin, Frankfurt and New York. Domestically, our presence in the regions has been enhanced with offices opening in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff and Exeter, as well as establishing substantial on-site teams at Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The M&A pipeline, alongside the launch of our Ignition brand (designed to target early stage businesses) is looking very exciting.”
Further investment in nGAGE’s proprietary technology capabilities have supported significant growth in its managed service business (Retinue) which have increased spend under management over the last year which has now reached c.£150m.
Cook added, “Despite the continuation of austerity measures and political disruption over the last year, our public sector businesses provide an important service and run very efficiently. Within the public sector there remain attractive growth areas for future expansion, including the provision of supply teachers in the education sector.”
In the medium term nGAGE continues to target organic growth in its existing businesses, opportunities to support recruiters form exciting niche businesses and to acquire fast-growing businesses. The intention is to continue investing in the technology and operational capabilities to support this strategy.
Cook stated, “The trading environment has been challenging but we have continued to grow and take market share which is very pleasing. We have significantly improved our delivery capability through the continued investment in technology and we are better placed than ever to capitalise on the opportunities ahead of us. Our market-leading managed service proposition and expertise in scaling in attractive niches provides us with range of exciting growth opportunities in the years ahead.”