- Specialist staffing group Empresaria reports strong growth in profits with earnings per share up 73% on 2012, which, it says, shows the benefit of its diversified business model.

Operating profits rose by 34% to £5.5m in the year to the end of December with pre-tax profits up 49% at £4.9m.

Earnings per share of 5.2p compared with 3.0p in 2012.

Chief executive Joost Kreulen said: "In 2013 we have delivered a 17% growth in adjusted profit before tax over the prior year on stable revenues due to a focus on improving operational efficiency and maintaining a tight control of costs. This has resulted in the conversion ratio increasing to 14.2%. Improvements have been particularly marked in the Rest of the World region where the profits in Singapore and the turnaround in Chile supported a 40% increase in adjusted operating profit.

"We follow a brand led growth strategy and will continue to invest in our existing businesses, with planned office openings in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Mexico City in the first half of 2014. Market conditions are improving in UK and Continental Europe and the economic forecasts are positive in all the countries in which we operate, so we see good opportunities to grow the business.

"I am also delighted to announce that we have just acquired 51% of BW&P, a high quality search firm in the Technical & Industrial sector, which is based in Dubai and covers the Middle East region providing entry into a new region for Empresaria. Their management team have previously worked with Tony Martin, Zach Miles and I when they built up one of the leading staffing firms in Dubai and the UK and we see this investment as an exciting opportunity to build a leading brand in this important geographic region and deliver strong profit growth over the next few years."

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