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Tom Keighley

Member Article

Michael Page suffer summer profit fall

International recruitment firm Michael Page has said profits have fallen 8.3% from the last quarter, as the company anticipate a “challenging” second half.

Profits had fallen across all operating regions, particularly across Europe, Middle East and Africa, where gross profit fell 15% below that of Q2 2012.

Steve Ingham, Chief Executive said: “As we stated in our July update and August half year results, we were anticipating a challenging second half given the seasonally quieter summer period, the tough year-on-year comparables and the ongoing backdrop of economic uncertainty.

“The third quarter did indeed prove to be challenging across all our regions. “As a result, the Group reported an 8% decrease in gross profit compared to the second quarter and, against last year, a decrease of 11%, or 7% before the impact of exchange rates.

“It remains key for us to manage our cost base, principally headcount, to reflect market conditions. To that end, we reduced headcount in the EMEA, Americas and UK regions, excluding the annual graduate intake in the UK. In Asia Pacific our headcount was broadly flat. As usual, the headcount reduction was achieved principally through natural attrition.

“Whilst managing our cost base is important, so too is retaining and growing our platform for when markets improve. We believe we have the right balance and the business remains profitable throughout all our major markets.

“In most regions activity levels improved towards the end of Q3, however, we do anticipate another challenging fourth quarter, with economic conditions and market confidence likely to remain poor for the foreseeable future.

“The Group continues to be financially prudent, with net cash in the region of £50m at the end of Q3. Reflecting these challenging conditions, we expect our full year operating profit* to be slightly below current analyst expectations.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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