- Recruitment and training group Staffline posted a deeper annual loss after the pandemic hurt demand in the high street retail, automotive and manufacturing sectors.

Pre-tax losses for the year through December amounted to £51.6 million, compared to year-on-year losses of £44.4 million. Revenue fell 13% to £927.6 million.

Staffline, which this month raised £48.4 million to shore up its balance sheet, did not declare any dividends for the year.

It reiterated that trading in the first quarter of 2021 was 'encouraging' with operating profit ahead of expectations.

'Whilst market conditions remain volatile in those sectors which are just opening up following the lockdown, the successful vaccination programme is providing a springboard for a strong recovery in the second half of 2021,' chief executive Albert Ellis said.

'This, coupled with the group's successful equity and debt refinancing in June, that was supported by both new and existing investors, underpins our optimism for the second half of the current financial year and we remain on track to meet current market expectations for the full year.'

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