Michael Page profit jumps on overseas success

Recruiter Michael Page more than trebled its full-year operating profit in 2010 as it bounced back from a difficult 2009 in line with forecasts, and said it was well placed to continue growth in 2011.

Michael Page, which finds jobs for people in the financial, accounting and legal services sectors, said on Monday its operating profit for the year was £71.5m compared to £20.2m in 2009 – a year the company described as one of the most challenging in its history.

The company said 2010 had seen good growth in Asia, Latin America, the big markets in Europe and the Middle East and an improving picture in the UK amid tough market conditions.

Michal Page said it proposed a final dividend of 6.12 pence per ordinary share, totalling 9 pence for the year – a 12.5 per cent increase on the 2009 total.

The company said 2011 had started with strong growth in its EMEA region, Australia and North America, while Asia and Latin America continued to lead the way.

Rival recruiter Hays reported a 23 per cent rise in first-half net fees last Monday, led by strong performances in Asia Pacific and Europe, with operating profit in line with market expectations.