Michael Page in 30pc profit rise

Recruiter Michael Page posted a 30 per cent rise in first-quarter profit on strong growth across its main markets and said it was well placed to exceed its profit performance in 2010.

The group, which finds jobs for people in the financial, accounting and legal services sectors, said on Monday its gross profit for the three months to end-March was £127.3m compared with £97.9m for the same period in 2010.

"The growth continued to be largely driven by permanent placements, where gross profits were up by 35 percent, and we also noted a pick-up in gross profits from temporary placements, growing by 14 per cent," chief executive Steve Ingham said in a statement.

The company said the outlook in Asia and Latin America remained positive and was continuing to improve in Europe, adding that it was well positioned to exceed 2010 profit performance.

In March, the FTSE 250 company announced that it had more than trebled profit for 2010 after solid growth in its main markets, bouncing back from a challenging 2009.