Shares in Skilled Group are up more than 5 per cent after the labour contractor reported a double-digit lift in first half net profit.
Skilled said its net profit of $28.2 million for the six months to December 31 was up 10.2 per cent on the prior corresponding period.
The result was broadly in line with market expectations.
Revenue was up 4.2 per cent to $971.7 million, Skilled said.
Investors welcomed the news - and a lift to the dividend - with Skilled shares up 15 cents, or 5.03 per cent, to $3.13 at 11.20am.
Chief executive Mick McMahon said the company's exposure to higher growth sectors helped offset the impact of continuing weakness in other parts of the economy.
Mr McMahon said 54 per cent of Skilled's revenue was generated from mining and oil and gas, while on a geographic basis 57 per cent of revenue came from the resources-rich states of Queensland and WA.
Skilled said it had achieved about $5 million in cost savings in the first half, and expected that to rise to $10 million for the full 2012/13 year.
While the company did not offer specific earnings guidance for the full year, it said challenging market conditions were expected to continue in the second half of 2012/13.
"We are well-positioned to deliver further shareholder value growth in FY13 and beyond," Mr McMahon said.
Skilled said its workforce services unit, which provides blue collar staff, suffered a 1.7 per cent fall in revenue in the half.
But, revenue was up 11.1 per cent at its technical professionals unit and 9.3 per cent higher in engineering and marine services.The company declared a fully-franked interim dividend of seven cents a share, up from five cents a share in the prior corresponding period.
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