Michael Page in permanent roles boost

RECRUITMENT company Michael Page International has posted a 32 per cent jump in second-quarter gross profit, driven by a rise in permanent placements and international expansion.

Michael Page, which finds jobs for people in the financial, accounting and legal services sectors, said it expected 2011 profit to be broadly in line with current market estimates of £117m.

The company has seen growth driven by business in fast expanding economies in Asia and Latin America, which need specialist workers.

Chief executive Steve Ingham said: We are gaining in market share in nearly all of our markets. This is a real opportunity to grow fast.

“It was an excellent half. We’re firing on all cylinders around the world.” For the quarter to June, group gross profit was £147.8m, compared with £111.7m last year. Gross profit from permanent placements grew 35 per cent to £118.6m.

Last week, rival Hays reported an 11 per cent rise in fourth-quarter net fees as growth at its international division helped offset weakness at its UK business, which was hit by continued tough public sector conditions.

Michael Page, which operates in 32 countries, has seen its shares gain 38 per cent over the past year

It said it is planning expansion in markets including Colombia, Taiwan Indonesia and Peru.

The company’s profit has jumped by 50 per cent in the Asia Pacific region so far this year.

But Ingham added on the domestic scene: “The UK is our toughest market. It is a very developed and competitive recruitment market, whereas when you go to a lot of the faster developing markets around the world, we have very little competition.”