The amount, which is considerably less than last year's figure of £4.19m, was made after an exceptional charge of £900,000.
Turnover was also down from £99.9m in the first half of 1999, to £75m, although chairman John Bateman said the company had had an "active and meaningful first half".
He added that MSB was making progress in reducing its dependence on the IT contractor market, and was focusing instead on providing clients with "broader" human resource solutions. "The signs are that the contractor market is expanding but competition has become even more intense, as evidenced by the margins at which business is undertaken," he commented. "The broadening of our service offerings is already delivering benefits as seen in the second quarter upturn in profitability." The report also indicated that in addition to the offices it had opened in Glasgow, Dublin and Utrecht this year, MSB would expand into Germany and Italy in 2001.