Wednesday 7 August 2019 12:36 pm

Recruitment firm Pagegroup boosts profit despite challenging market

Recruitment company Pagegroup reported an increase in profit in the first half of the year despite challenging markets in the UK and China.

The figures.

Revenue increased 9.2 per cent to £820.5m in the first half of the year from £751.6m in 2018, the FTSE 250 firm said. 

Gross profit was up 9.5 per cent to £433.5m from £396m in the first six months of last year. 

Challenging markets in China and the UK dragged fee earner headcount down 1.3 per cent to 6,035. 

Net cash dropped to £81.7m from £97.7m at the beginning of the year and £87m in the first half of 2018. 

Why it’s interesting

While profit and revenue were up across the group as a whole, ongoing uncertainty impacted the UK business in the first half.

Revenue was up 1.5 per cent to £157.5m from £155m and gross profit declined 0.3 per cent to £69.4m.

Pagegroup said Brexit uncertainty had continued to weaken decision making from clients and candidates at a senior level. 

The Page Personnel business, which focuses on temporary recruitment, grew nine per cent. 

However Michael Page, which focuses more on senior candidates, declined three per cent. 

What Pagegroup said 

“We are pleased with our first half performance, however we remain mindful of challenging macro-economic conditions seen in a number of our regions,” said Pagegroup chief financial officer Kelvin Stagg. 

“We will continue to focus on driving profitable growth, while continuing our strategic investments towards our vision of 10,000 headcount, £1bn of gross profit and £200m to £250m of operating profit.”