The first half of the year saw sales and profits move significantly ahead but the economic turmoil took its toll in the latter months.
The firm, which specialises in finding permanent and temporary staff for sectors including finance, IT, supply chain and retail, responded to the changing climate by cutting its workforce by almost 20% and reducing debts.
Kellan, behind brands including Berkeley Scott and Quantica, said it believes it is well placed for recovery. But although it said it was "hoping for the best", it was "planning for the worst" in terms of economic climate.
John Bowmer and Tony Reeves, non-executive co-chairmen, appear to be optimistic about prospects.
They each bought 375,000 shares at 4.5p and now hold a combined stake of more than 29% of the company. The two directors have made a paper profit on the shares, which have more than doubled since they purchased them, although the stock remains well down on its year high.
Colin Patten, commercial director at meat group Hilton Food, has spent heavily to increase his stake.
He bought 150,000 shares at an average price of 165p to take his stake up to 4.5 million shares.
David Thorpe, a non-executive director of building maintenance group Interserve, has bought his first holding in the company.
He purchased 12,793 shares for 194p each following news of contract wins worth 50m in the Middle East.
Jean Claude Gandur, chief executive of oil & gas group Addax, has upped his stake with the purchase of 25,000 shares at 18 each. He now owns 5.58 million shares.
Folkert Blaisse, a non-executive director at specialist fabrics group Low & Bonar, has significantly increased his stake.
He purchased 50,000 shares at 27p, and now holds 124,000.