Latin America drives sales at Michael Page

RECRUITER Michael Page has posted improved profits for 2010, driven by its expansion into emerging markets.

Gross profit for the year rose 23.8 per cent to £442.2m, with 72 per cent of the company’s profit generated overseas.

The fastest-growing market was the Americas, driven by expansion into Chile – the firm’s fourth Latin American market – and the opening of four new offices in Brazil.

Revenue for the region rose 38.9 per cent to £77.2m and gross profit rose 48.1 per cent to £56.4m.

Asia Pacific contributed 16 per cent of the group’s gross profit in 2010, with revenue 33.9 per cent higher at £120.3m. Gross profit for the region rose 53.9 per cent to £72.2m, up from £42.2m in 2009.

The recruiter also launched its Page Personnel division in Hong Kong, Mexico, Russia and Singapore last year, and opened new businesses in Qatar, India and Malaysia at the start of 2011.

The UK posted a 12.7 per cent increase in gross profit to £124.9m. Headcount in the UK rose from 1,179 at the start of the year to 1,324 by the end of December.

Chief executive Steve Ingham said: “Since the start of 2011 we have seen strong growth in our EMEA region, Australia and North America and steady growth in our UK business, where conditions remain tough but stable. We continue to achieve our highest rates of growth in our Asian and Latin American regions.”