Recruitment group CPL says it has experienced a 'significant slowdown' in business because of the global economic downturn and its effects on the jobs market.

The company said that in Ireland many organisations had responded to the downturn by curtailing or postponing recruitment.

In a trading update, CPL said it expected to report pre-tax profits of €6m for the six months to December 31, almost half of the figure for the same period a year earlier, but the outlook for 2009 was 'very uncertain'. CPL said it was not possible at the moment to predict how the business would perform in the second half of the financial year.

Shares in the company closed four cent lower at €1.05 in Dublin this evening.