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Page gross profit up, conditions challenging

October 07 2008

Michael Page International PLC said third-quarter gross profit rose 14.6% to GBP141.4 million (US$257.0 million), or 3.9% in constant currency. But the London-based professional staffing firm said market conditions are becoming more challenging.

Michael Page's gross profit for its United Kingdom operations fell. And its North American business declined 7%, although the company includes North America in its overall Americas segment. Michael Page's total Americas gross profit rose 34.9% to GBP14.3 million (US$26.0 million).

"Market conditions through the third quarter became increasingly challenging," said Chief Executive Steve Ingham. "The unprecedented turmoil in the financial sector during September has eroded confidence in the wider economy. This has reduced activity levels and increased the cautionary candidate and client behavior we started to encounter in the first half of 2008."

Ingham said the company cut its headcount in several areas, including the U.K. and North America.

In August, Michael Page rejected an overture to buy the company from Adecco SA.

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