Page Group Shares Plunge

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Today, Page Group, a recruitment company, saw its shares drop by approximately seven percent after it disclosed in its annual results statement that the uncertainty of Brexit has a major impact on the job market.

The FTSE 250 recruiter disclosed that while it had raised its number of fee-earning employees by 561 in the first three quarters of last year, this slowed to only 58 in the final three months of the year.

The chief executive officer of the company, Steve Ingham, stated: “Whilst additions in Q4 are normally lower, we are also mindful of the heightened geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty, which has the potential to impact client and candidate confidence.”

The decline in the share price came despite an announcement that the gross profits of the company increased by 16 percent to a record £815 million for the year to 31 December, with the firm being able to deliver record profits in 23 countries.

However, the full-year profits in the UK division, which makes up nearly one-fifth of the group, dropped by 1.7 percent to £138 million.

The gross profit in the United Kingdom increased by 2.1 percent in the final quarter of the previous year as compared with the same period the year before. However, growth was observed to much stronger elsewhere, including in the United States of America (32 percent), Germany (28 percent), and France (10 percent).

The biggest region of the company, European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), accounted for 48 percent of the business, was able to offset the drop in the United Kingdom by delivering a 17.9 percent constant currency increase in gross profit to £394.2 million.

The fastest growing sector for the company, which posted a growth of 25 percent – was its professional services offering, which includes technology, secretarial, and legal recruitment. The growth was observed to be slowest in sales, retail, and marketing.

The firm stated that it expected its full-year operating profit to be in line with consensus at around £141 million.