Employment companies to float on AIM

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The Independent Online
THE STEADY trickle of companies joining the stock market is set to continue this summer with the news that two employment companies are planning to float on the Alternative Investment Market.

ATA, a fast-growing employment and training group, is looking for a market value of about pounds 11m while AdVal, a human resources consultancy, is expected to be valued at about pounds 7m.

ATA specialises in recruiting staff in the engineering, sales and advertising industries. It concentrates on vacancies with salaries in the range of pounds 15,000 to pounds 40,000.

In the past three years, ATA's turnover has risen from pounds 2.0m to pounds 4.7m, while pre-tax profits have almost quadrupled to pounds 883,000. Clive Chapman, chief executive, said the listing would help ATA achieve its objective of becoming a fully-fledged support services company.

AdVal, based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, aims to offer a complete "people development service" providing advice for human resources departments as well as training courses. Its customers include Barclays Bank, Volkswagen UK, Royal Mail and BP.

The company has attracted Sir Jeremy Hanley, the former Foreign Office minister, to be its non-executive chairman. In the year to March 1998, pre-tax profits more than doubled to pounds 690,000 on turnover up 79 per cent to pounds 2.87m.