It’s unusual for a company, even for one of the oft-overlooked small-cap variety, to trade at a trailing earnings multiple of less than five times after notching up four consecutive years of bottom-line growth. Workforce, a specialist services company with a sizeable human temporary staffing element, "enjoys" such a desultory market rating. Of course, a stifling operating environment created by labour regulation and ongoing efforts to vilify temporary employment services do weigh on investment sentiment. Workforce is acutely aware of this, and its investment presentation dedicates a page to outlining the positive spin-offs from its craft, most notably meaningful job creation, youth employment, a strong focus on training, equivalent benefits to permanent workers and a significant conversion of temporary to permanent workers. In isolation, Workforce’s interim numbers hardly justify the share trundling along at a 12-month low. Revenue was up 14.5% to R1.37bn, with gross profit coming i...

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