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Recruitment figures

Eden Scott returns to profit after year of adjustment

Michelle Lownie

Michelle Lownie: investing in the business

Eden Scott, the executive search and selection business, has returned to profit after taking a hit from a £300,000 ‘dilapidation’ bill in the previous year.

It posted a £450,000 pre-tax profit for the year ending March 2021, compared to a £345,496 loss in 2019/20 related to the move out of the HQ in St Andrew Square.

Turnover dropped in the past year to about £9m from £12m in the previous 12 months as a result of a drop in temporary recruitment.

During 2020/21, despite the pandemic, there were a number of sectors where, after the initial shock of lockdown, it was business as usual.

“We’ve found the main driver for increased profit was our ability to adapt to the virtual world quickly which gave us a leg up on the competition,” said a spokesman.


“This enabled us to win more business in sectors that hadn’t performed as well in the previous 12 months and helped us kick on with smaller departments.”  

The company said it had a high client win ratio, especially in permanent recruitment in the manufacturing and engineering, tech and digital sectors. This resulted in a “considerable turnaround” in fortunes for both these departments.

The life sciences department increased its financial performance by 100% over the last year.

The company also won considerably more executive level roles over this period which are higher value but more difficult to fill.

“Our plan is to continue to invest in our tech infrastructure, our team and our new HQ in Princes Street,” said the company.

“Over the next year we are going to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the lockdown and make our business as adaptable and flexible as possible to ensure we can maintain the levels of service that have helped get ahead of the competition over the last year.”

The company is investing in a new website and refreshing the brand.

New chief executive Michelle Lownie commented: “I’m incredibly proud of the way the Eden Scott team have adapted to the situation in order to support their clients and candidates. The uncertainty around Lockdown and remote working presented a new challenge that our consultants met head-on.

“I am especially pleased we were able to support the NHS and other key public sector bodies to find the staff they needed during this incredibly challenging time.

“Despite the difficulties presented by the pandemic and Brexit, the growth in certain sectors shows resilience in our economy and highlights the opportunities that exist.

“Our profit level allows us to re-invest in our business as we prepare to tackle the next stage in the economic recovery, ensuring Eden Scott has a solid foundation for growth.

“With our new Edinburgh headquarters on Princes Street opening in the autumn and recruitment for our team ramping up, I am excited for the next stage of our journey.”

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