Tough economy hits Michael Page profits

Recruiter Michael Page today reported a drop in first quarter profits due to tough market conditions and has reduced staff as a result.

The British-headquartered company posted profits of £126.8m in the first quarter of 2013, a 6.7 per cent decline from £135.9m in the same quarter last year.

Michael Page’s businesses in France and Germany were particularly hit this year, down 17 per cent and 27 per cent this quarter respectively.

“Activity levels remained strong in the quarter, but with difficult trading conditions continuing in several markets, we anticipate Q2 to be a challenging quarter,” said CEO Steve Ingham.

“We continue to actively adjust our cost base, both to take account of market conditions and also to improve the group's operating performance. As a result total headcount reduced by 57 to 5,042 from the year end 2012. This was driven by a reduction in operational support of 64, offset by a small net increase in fee earners.”