Michael Page hit by hiring freeze in UK

RECRUITER Michael Page yesterday revealed that the jobs market was stalling in the UK, with the firm depending on growth in other markets to lift profits.

The company said gross profits in the UK rose just 0.3 per cent to £33.1m in its third quarter, against growth of 48 per cent in the Americas and 44 per cent in Asia-Pacific – thogugh even these regions grew more slowly than a year ago.

Michael Page said government spending cuts, which had triggered state hiring freezes, had put the brakes on its progress in the UK, while emerging markets were thriving.

Market turbulence has also hit City jobs, compared with a financial services sector in Asia that has seen jobs rise. The group, which operates in 32 countries, said total group gross profits rose 22 per cent to £142.7m.

Page’s banking business, which focuses on London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong and accounts for 10 per cent of the group’s gross profit, grew ten per cent in the third quarter, compared to 28 per cent growth the previous year.

The firm’s headcount rose by 229 to 5,350, with the additions mainly made in China.

Michael Page also announced that Sir Adrian Montague will retire as chairman on 31 December after 10 years on the board and Robin Buchanan, an independent non-executive director, will succeed him.