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ASX-listed Clarius gives up on unprofitable NZ business

Wednesday 25th May 2016

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ASX-listed Clarius Group will quit its New Zealand business, giving up on plans to operate a profitable IT recruitment firm on this side of the Tasman. 

The Sydney-based company decided to close its New Zealand operations after a number of strategies over a prolonged period failed to create a profitable business, it said in a statement to the ASX. The group will redirect investment to markets where "we are experiencing strong and sustainable growth," it said. 

"The board has decided to close local operations in New Zealand and will fulfill all ongoing commitments from our head office," it said. "The exit strategy will be implemented with immediate effect and the transition of business operations is expected to be complete by the end of June 2016." 

The group's brands include Alliance Recruitment, Candle, JavIT, Lloyd Morgan, South Tech and The One Umbrella. 

Clarius's New Zealand holding company, Candle Holdings Ltd, last filed financial statements with the New Zealand Companies Office in December 2014, which showed the local division had accumulated losses of $4.7 million as at June 30, 2014.

The Australian parent, which hasn't recorded a profit since 2010, injected $4 million of new equity in the 2014 financial year and was still owed $1.4 million from a $5.9 million loan first made in 1997. 

The shares last traded at 18 Australian cents and have dropped 5.3 percent so far this year.

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