Recruiter Hays posted an 80 per cent drop in full year pre-tax profit, hit by tough trading conditions in the first half.
Hays, which places people in white collar jobs, said it made a pre-tax profit of £29.7m in the year to 30 June, against £151m last year.
However, the company said the UK private sector job market was improving.
Chief Executive Alistair Cox said in a statement: "After a tough first half, we returned to growth in the second half ... The outlook across 90 percent of our markets, including the British private sector, continues to improve."
Permanent job placements declined by 26 per cent, with fees for each person placed in a permanent job also down by eight per cent because of "very difficult" market conditions, the company said.
Hays emphasised its growth in Asia was strong and had enabled it to achieve growth in the second half of 2009.
City A.M. Reporter