Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Healthcare Locums confident for 2010, sees robust 2009 performance

Staffing group Healthcare Locums (AIM: HCL) said that trading continues to be robust with consistent month-on-month revenue and profit growth throughout 2009. In a trading update for the 52 weeks ended 31 December 2009, the company said it expects to report results in line with expectations. Vice chairman Kate Bleasdale said the company has very strong organic growth and it can look forward to 2010 with confidence.

“We are operating in a market place that is not exposed to the negative impact of the wider economic environment and the opportunities for our business are very exciting”, Bleasdale said, “The UK health and social care flexible staffing market is currently worth in excess of £1.4 billion annually, and an international market for permanent placements of healthcare professionals is worth over £8 billion.”

The company said that all its divisions showed very strong performances in 2009 and it anticipates continuing growth into 2010. HCL’s international permanent placement division had a particularly strong second half, opening new offices in Australia, Canada and Abu Dhabi.

According to HCL there is a huge shortage of healthcare workers worldwide, particularly in the US where 1.2 million new nurses will be required by 2014. Additionally US demand could rise substantially should President Obama's healthcare reform bill get passed into law.

Meanwhile in its UK operations the Doctors, Qualified Social Workers and Allied Health Professional businesses have continued to deliver good performances, HCL said. UK demand is being driven by the ageing population, and a deficit of appropriately qualified health and social care professionals. HCL believes that the NHS will continue to expand frontline services to meet the healthcare needs of both a growing and an ageing population and its use of flexible agency staff, is considered a cheaper and more efficient alternative to the high cost of full time employees.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company