Page profits dive in jobs bloodbath

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The Independent Online

Michael Page International issued its second profit warning in under a year yesterday as a jobs bloodbath in almost all of its markets and industries hit business.

The white-collar recruiter admitted that its offices across the world – apart from in Asia – saw third-quarter revenues shrink compared with a year ago.

In the UK, which makes up almost a quarter of Page's business, profits were down 10.9 per cent in the three months to October to £29.5m. Profits in Europe, Middle East and Africa – about 40 per cent of the group – fell 16 per cent to £49m.

All sectors declined. Profits in finance and accounting were down 17 per cent, thanks to the ongoing banking crisis, and the legal, technology, secretarial, and healthcare jobs unit was down 7 per cent, as was the engineering, property, sales and retail division.

Gross profits were £126.5m, 11 per cent lower than a year ago.

Steve Ingham, the chief executive, admitted the market was not getting better, and anticipated a "challenging fourth quarter".

Its shares fell 2.1p to 363p.