Michael Page posts rising profits in wake of hiring boom

Recruiter Michael Page has posted a rise in gross profit of 0.3 per cent for the fourth quarter. The improved results reflect strengthening performances from over half of 34 countries the firm operates in.

Gross profit was £125m in the fourth quarter, which was down 1.2 per cent year-on-year in reported rates.

Steve Ingham, Chief Executive Officer said:

We are pleased with the strong results from the UK, the US and Japan; the improving performances in our large businesses in France and Germany; as well as many countries that achieved records in gross profit.

The company makes around 40 per cent of its profits from finance and accounting.

The results come in the wake of a host of data showing a boom in private sector hiring. Recruitment group Hays said net fees from private sector construction and property jobs rose 21 per cent in the last three months of 2013.

Hiring in the city also jumped at the tail end of last year. In December, recruiter Astbury Marsden found 1,336 new jobs, up 67 per cent on the same period in 2012.

Recruiter Mark Cameron commented:

The last couple of years have seen the banks undergoing fundamental restructuring, and in most business areas they were more likely to downsize teams than to make plans to expand,” said recruiter Mark Cameron.

In 2013 that shrinkage has slowed down. What we are seeing is very far from a return to aggressive hiring, but it is a good sign that banks are thinking again about growth.