Job firm warns on profit

RECRUITMENT consultant Michael Page yesterday warned of falling profits for the second time this year, blaming the worsening Eurozone crisis for a spate of employers and jobhunters abandoning their plans to hire or change jobs.

Shares in the global recruitment group slumped more than ten per cent in early trading and closed 5.2 per cent down after it said its profits would come in below its lowest expected level of £86.5m this year, amid “increasing levels of macroeconomic uncertainty”.

“The Eurozone crisis and the lowering of GDP forecasts worldwide have reduced client and candidate confidence levels,” it warned in its third-quarter trading update.

“As markets weaken and become more unpredictable, our short-term visibility reduces, particularly in respect of permanent placements,” the company said.

Its profits were previously forecast to reach up to £114.2m for the year, but the company said its profit growth levels had worsened since 10 October when it last updated the market.

While profit growth in its critical Europe, Middle East and Africa region hit 30.8 per cent in the three months to 10 October, from then until November it fell to 18.5 per cent.

In the Americas, which account for 14 per cent of the group’s profits, profitability slumped from almost 50 per cent to 23.8 per cent in those weeks.