Job firm’s FD  sold shares before alert

THE FINANCE director of Michael Page sold £2.25m of shares in the struggling City recruiter fewer than three weeks before it issued a profit warning.

Stephen Puckett and his wife, Amanda, sold nearly 595,000 shares on 17 and 18 November.

They were not the only ones to cash in as Charles-Henri Dumon, managing director for continental Europe and the Americas, sold 130,000 shares, worth just over £475,000, on 15 and 16 November.

Shares in Michael Page, which finds jobs for people in finance, law and accounting, sank 5.2 per cent on Monday after it warned of falling profits for the second time this year. It blamed employers for abandoning plans to hire because of the Eurozone crisis, leading analysts to talk down the sector further.

The firm’s stock inched up 0.06 per cent yesterday to close at 346.11p, down by more than a third over the last six months.

This week’s profit warning came in an unscheduled announcement and therefore was not subject to a closed period, when directors are banned from trading in their firm’s shares.

One analyst told City A.M. the trades were “not best practice” but there is no suggestion that Puckett, his wife or Dumon are guilty of wrongdoing.

Puckett is due to leave the firm for “personal reasons”. Michael Page declined to comment.