Recruitment firm CPL Resources has reported a 92% plunge in pre-tax profits for the year ended June 2009. Pre-tax profits fell to €1.7m from €20.7m in 2008, in what the company called an 'unprecedented year'.

The company said its gross profit fell by 33% to €35m from €52.5m, while revenues declined by 18% to €212.4m from €257.6m in 2008. It said its performance reflected the current economic and labour market conditions.

'All our divisions felt the impact, especially in the second half of the year as many of our customers dramatically slowed down hiring on a permanent basis,' commented CPL's chief executive Anne Heraty.

The company said that fees from its permanent placement business fell by 50% to €12.2m and its generated a gross profit of €22.3m from its temporary business, down 20%. It placed 13,500 people in work during the year.

During the year, CPL bought the business and assets of Kenny Whelan and Associates, and since the year end it has bought the assets of Nifast, Ecom Interaction and Techstaff.

CPL said it expects to see an improvement in the economy before it sees an improvement in the jobs market. 'Past cycles indicate that we could see a prolonged period of rising unemployment. This suggests that demand for recruitment services will be weak through 2010,' it added.

CPL chairman John Hennessy said that he expects the environment in which it operates will continue to be difficult over the coming months.

'Accordingly, the level of uncertainty remains such that it is not possible to predict our future performance with any accuracy,' he added.