UK recruitment sector deal activity maintained as the sector returns to growth.

Overseas certainty.

The latest report from national accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP has shown transaction volumes in the UK recruitment industry have been maintained so far in 2019. Following a period of sharp decline as a potential impending Brexit approached, both the FTSE All Share Index and the BDO Recruitment FTSE Index have stabilised and shown a slight rebound towards growth in the first half of this year whilst M&A activity has maintained momentum with deal volumes slightly ahead of those experienced in 2018.

Deal activity has been maintained in particular, with a marked trend towards UK companies expanding overseas by setting up new offices abroad and also through acquisition of recruitment companies in different jurisdictions. Despite deal volumes being generally consistent, only 35 per cent of deals in the first six months of 2019 involved a UK vendor, compared to 91 per cent in 2018.

The sector continues to remain attractive to investors despite economic uncertainty. Last year, the number of deals in the UK reached a five-year high and ranked number one globally for number of transactions in the sector.

“Activity levels have been maintained in first half of 2019 despite some challenging macro-economic conditions – recruitment remains an exciting sector to watch,” commented James Fieldhouse, M&A director at BDO LLP .

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