Michael Page International share price down as recruitment company reveals strong profit growth for year ended December 2015, driven by robust jobs market in US

Hayley Kirton
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U.S. Job Growth Weakest Since July
The company will continue to strive for growth during 2016, said the chief executive (Source: Getty)

Share price in Michael Page International fell today despite the recruitment company revealing strong profit growth for its year ended December 2015.

The recruiter, which also trades as PageGroup, revealed a profit before tax of £90.7m, up 12.9 per cent on £80.4m the year before.

Meanwhile, revenue inched up slightly to £1.1bn, an increase of 1.7 per cent compared with £1bn in 2014.

Shares in the company were trading down 0.3 per cent at 395.5p shortly before 2pm London time.

"Despite challenges in a number of our larger markets, the unpredictable nature of the current cycle and our limited visibility, we will continue to focus on driving profitable growth in 2016, as we did throughout 2015, whilst remaining able to respond quickly to any changes in market conditions," said Steve Ingham, chief executive of PageGroup.

The recruitment company performed particularly strongly in the US, with gross profits growing 19 per cent, while gross profits in the UK grew by just 10 per cent.

Ingham added: "Our businesses in continental Europe, the US and Latin America, excluding Brazil, all performed well. Brazil and Australia continued to find conditions difficult and towards the end of the year we also experienced tougher trading in greater China as the economic slowdown and financial market uncertainty impacted confidence."

As well as finding jobs for other people, the company lifted its own headcount to a record 5,835, with the number of fee earners increasing during the year by 4.8 per cent.

The recruiter also announced a 4.5 per cent increase to its total ordinary dividend to 11.5 pence per share and a special dividend of 16 pence per share.

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