Michael Page International PLC (MPI), U.K.’s second largest recruiter, gross profit rose 14 percent to $169.1 million in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter. The company beat analysts’ forecasts and posted stronger figures than rival Hays PLC (HAS). It also benefited from its strategy of diversifying overseas, with 70% of its profit now coming from outside the UK.
Jobs in Britain’s public sector are set to contract following the government’s budget which announced spending cuts of 6.2 billion pounds in the 2010-2011 financial year, although Ingham said it would only have a small impact on Michael Page.
This echoed what other recruiters Hays (HAYS) and smaller rival Robert Walters (RWA) said in their trading updates earlier in the week. Both companies also attributed profit increases to strong demand in regions outside of Europe.
Steve Ingham, chief executive commented, “The improvement in our performance has been driven by greater permanent recruitment activity as confidence levels improve, leading to higher rates of job churn.”
Ingham also added, “We are benefiting from our investment in diversifying the Group internationally, with over 70% of our gross profit now derived from areas outside of the UK and over 40% of our fee earners in the faster developing recruitment markets.”
Asia Pacific, representing 16% of the Group, was £18m, up by 85.2% and the Americas (13% of Group)also increased by 87.9% to £14.6m.
Permanent staff (79% of Group) gross profit was £87.9m, up by 51.5%, while Temporary staff (21% of Group) saw profits down by 8.3% at £23.6m.
Net cash at 30 June 2010 was approximately £63m.