Computer comeback

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RECOVERY has arrived in the UK for Computer People, the agency that recruits and supplies information technology specialists.

More demand for consultants helped to edge the group back into profit at the half-way stage.

The company made pounds 364,000 before tax in the six months to 30 June against a loss of pounds 135,000 last time.

Anthony Lambie, the UK chief executive, said that the 12 per cent rise in revenue to pounds 33.5m came mainly from a pick-up in British consultancy business.

But the US business and the more basic recruitment business in Britain were also now performing better than last year.

There was a decline in revenue from the US business, but profitability was maintained by tighter control of costs and better margins.

The group's borrowings were pounds 4.9m at the half-way stage - or 93 per cent of shareholders' funds. Richard Pinder, finance director, said he expected gearing to fall below 80 per cent by the year-end.

Earnings per share were 1.45p against losses of 0.73p. There is no interim dividend - the directors said they would consider restoring a payout at the year-end.

The shares rose 5p to 110p.