2016 Company Summary

Operational Review

Trading in 2016 continued to be very strong, in particular with our Staffing division achieving further significant organic growth and another record in total OnSites. Our PeoplePlus division meanwhile has made good progress as a fully integrated business now rebranded following the acquisition of A4e in April 2015.

2016 was the fourth year into our five year plan to ‘Burst the Billion’, aiming to grow Group revenues to over £1 billion by 2017, and the financial performance this year means that we remain on track to achieve this. Total sales in 2016 grew 26% to £882m, with about half of this growth being organic, derived from winning new business from both new and existing customers.

All of our onsite Staffing businesses saw growth during 2016 despite some uncertainty in the macro-economic backdrop. Sales rose by 34% to £741m, driven by organic growth of 21% and the full year benefit from the acquisitions in late 2015 of both Diamond Recruitment in Northern Ireland and Milestone Operations. We continue to build market share in our core business, underpinned by our reputation in the industry for being reliable and ethical. This is despite the marketplace for many of our clients remaining competitive, especially in the food processing and production sectors, and therefore for our business. We have also expanded our presence in sectors including Manufacturing, Logistics and Distribution, Food Processing, Agriculture and Driving Plus. Having established a number of new divisions within Staffing Services during 2013 as part of our five year growth strategy, including Driving Plus, Ireland and Agriculture, we continued to invest during the period under review. As anticipated, all three divisions made a positive contribution during the year.

The completion of the A4e acquisition in April 2015 significantly enhanced our position in the employability arena. The combined PeoplePlus business benefits from significant scale within the Work Programme, the main contract for Department of Work and Pensions (“DWP”). With nine prime contracts and five sub-contracts, PeoplePlus is the largest provider by both the number of contracts and referrals. Our performance in the nine prime contracts improved hugely during 2016 and our current performance puts all of them in the top half of the league tables.

New locations

Our Staffing business has continued to go from strength to strength, achieving considerable organic growth and ending the year with a record 357 OnSites (December 2015: 305). This performance was underpinned by our investment in a number of start-up opportunities in the past few years, as well as in our existing divisions, to expand our operational reach and bring in new talent, extending our highly scalable platform.

Employees

We continue with our focus on enhancing and growing the capabilities of our people, driving a high-performance culture whilst harnessing talent which enables us to be more agile. Even though the Group continues to grow its revenues and profitability, the number of employees in our Staffing business has remained stable, but, by merging three businesses together to form PeoplePlus in 2016, with the consequent consolidation of headcount of that business, the Group’s total workforce at 31 December 2016 of 2,485 (full time equivalents) has seen a reduction of 809 on the 3,294 reported at the end of December 2015. During the year the number of contractors paid each week grew steadily peaking at 51,100 in the lead up to Christmas.

Developing our people is key to us as an organisation and we have many ways of encouraging this. Our ethos supports nurturing talent within the business at all levels and encourages self-development which in turn aids succession planning, supporting the strategic growth of the Group. We continue to place great emphasis on the training and development of our people, and we review our training needs on an ongoing basis in line with our vision, values and ambition to be an employer of choice.

Health & Safety

In line with our proactive approach to the Health, Safety and Welfare of our employees and contractors, in 2014, Staffline appointed a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety & Health to ensure we create an environment delivering outstanding personal safety.

Staffline actively monitors all aspects of Health & Safety using a “closed loop process”.  This allows all areas to be identified and documented during the audit process and shows continual development against all Health & Safety action plans with Senior Management involvement throughout.

During 2014 a full review of the Group’s Health & Safety Management systems was carried out which resulted in updated policies and procedures being implemented.  Health and Safety data is collated and reported monthly to the Executive Board to ensure the volume of accidents, and incidences of unsafe practice, are addressed immediately. Root cause analysis is extensively undertaken to ensure improvement activity is always ongoing.

Environment

We recognise that our social, economic and environmental responsibilities to our stakeholders are integral to our business. We aim to demonstrate these responsibilities through our actions and within our corporate policies. The Group has implemented a robust Environmental and Sustainability Management system, “One Planet”. This system is continually reviewed to ensure it remains aligned to business objectives. The Group continues to implement a detailed Environmental and Sustainability Policy. In addition, the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (“ESOS”) audit results are being reviewed and the opportunities highlighted in the report to reduce the Group’s environmental impact are being acted upon, which will flow into the Group’s One Planet Strategy. This will continue to focus on the following areas:

  • Energy Consumption
  • Waste
  • Travel
  • Sustainable Materials

Staffline Group plc continues to carry out extensive building audits and 100% energy audits in order to identify areas for improvement and reduce our CO2 footprint.

Compliance

We take compliance with legislation and industry standards extremely seriously, offering a total commitment to all of our clients to ensure that all of our workers, whether or not they are working in areas covered by the legislation, are recruited and supplied to the standards required by the Gangmaster Licensing Abuse Authority (“GLAA”).

This total commitment gives our clients the assurance that all UK ethical and legal standards are fully met. We operate a confidential helpline for our workers to report any concerns and conduct regular surveys to ensure we are achieving our own high standards. We are an active member and supporter of the Stronger Together initiative to help prevent exploitation and trafficking of workers.