Michael Page says 'another challenging quarter' ahead

Recruitment firm Michael Page International (MPI) said on Tuesday that 'tough economic conditions and weak market confidence' was partly to blame for a slump in profits in the first quarter.

Recruitment firm Michael Page International (MPI) said on Tuesday that 'tough economic conditions and weak market confidence' was partly to blame for a slump in profits in the first quarter.

Gross profits totalled £126.8m in the first three months of the year, 0.2% higher than the fourth quarter of 2012 but down 6.7% year-on-year.

A sharp decline (-15.1%) in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, which accounts for two-thirds of group profit, offset a relatively resilient performance elsewhere.

MPI said that its businesses in France and Germany, where it operates mainly in permanent recruitment, experienced "another challenging quarter", with profits down 17% and 27% at constant currency, respectively, against strong comparable.

Across the group, permanent recruitment accounts for 77% of total profits, while temporary makes up 23%. These two divisions saw gross profits fall by 7.6% and 3.6% at constant currency, respectively, on last year.

"Activity levels remained strong in the quarter, but with difficult trading conditions continuing in several markets, we anticipate Q2 to be a challenging quarter," the firm said.

MPI said it is continuing to invest in its "key growth targets" of China, South-East Asia, Latin America, Germany and North America in an attempt to "target our long-term growth and profit opportunities".

Recommended

How to profit from India’s high-tech recovery
Share tips

How to profit from India’s high-tech recovery

Professional investor David Cornell of the India Capital Growth Fund, selects three of his favourite Indian stocks to buy now.
27 Sep 2021
Share tips of the week – 24 September
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 24 September

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
24 Sep 2021
Three strong Asian stocks trading at bargain prices
Share tips

Three strong Asian stocks trading at bargain prices

Professional investor Nitin Bajaj of the Fidelity Asian Values investment trust picks three stocks that dominate their industries, earn good returns o…
20 Sep 2021
Why it pays to face up to your investment mistakes
Investment strategy

Why it pays to face up to your investment mistakes

Buying stocks can be a complicated business. But selling stocks can be tricky, too – even if you sell for the right reasons. Max King explains how to …
17 Sep 2021

Most Popular

A nightmare 1970s scenario for investors is edging closer
Investment strategy

A nightmare 1970s scenario for investors is edging closer

Inflation need not be a worry unless it is driven by labour market shortages. Unfortunately, writes macroeconomist Philip Pilkington, that’s exactly w…
17 Sep 2021
Two shipping funds to buy for steady income
Investment trusts

Two shipping funds to buy for steady income

Returns from owning ships are volatile, but these two investment trusts are trying to make the sector less risky.
7 Sep 2021
What really causes inflation? Here’s what prices since 1970 tell us
Inflation

What really causes inflation? Here’s what prices since 1970 tell us

As UK inflation hits 3.2%, Dominic Frisby compares the cost of living 50 years ago with that of today, and explains how debt drives prices higher.
15 Sep 2021