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08 January 2010
Michael Page International Plc (MPI:LSE), the specialist recruitment consultancy, has today released a trading update on the fourth quarter 2009 ended 31 December 2009 and the full year of 2009.
Q4 gross profits were up by 8.3 million Pounds or 10.1% to 90.6 million Pounds compared to Q3 2009. Compared to Q4 2008 gross profits were down by -23.7%.
In the UK Q4 gross profits were down by -2.8% to 26.5 million Pounds from 27.3 million Pounds in Q3 2009. Compared to Q4 2008 gross profits were down by -26.7% from 36.2 million Pounds.
France (19% of the Group) was lower by -27% against Q4 2008 (26% higher than Q3 2009).
Netherlands (5% of the Group) was lower by -54% against Q4 2008 (2% higher than Q3 2009).
Germany (6% of the Group) was lower by -44% against Q4 2008 (3% lower than Q3 2009).
Italy (4% of the Group) was lower by -32% against Q4 2008 (22% higher than Q3 2009).
Spain (3% of the Group) was lower by -33% against Q4 2008 (13% higher than Q3 2009).
Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, U.A.E. (9% of the Group) was lower by -31% against Q4 2008 (12% higher than Q3 2009).
The dispute concerning reimbursed overpaid VAT of 26.5 million Pounds has not been resolved yet with the British Tax Authorities and the situation therefore remains unclear to date.
Commenting on the fourth quarter trading, Steve Ingham, Chief Executive, said "I am delighted with our performance in the fourth quarter, with gross profit up 10% on the third quarter at 91 million Pounds and almost the same operating profit in the fourth quarter as we produced in the previous nine months of the year. 2009 has been one of the most challenging years in the Group's history, during which we have had to significantly reduce our cost base."
"However, in doing so we have retained all our key people, maintained our presence in all the markets in which we operate and invested modestly in expanding into new markets. As a result, with the increase in market share which we believe we have gained, with our broader platform and existing available capacity, we are well positioned to benefit from any improvement in economic conditions."
"We have built on the stabilisation we started to experience during the third quarter and in all our main markets, save for the UK, we have delivered sequential gross profit growth in the fourth quarter. While we believe the outlook for the UK remains challenging, we anticipate a continuation of the recovery in our other regions, which now account for 70% of our gross profit. With the benefit of our lower cost base and our operational gearing, we expect a significantly improved performance in 2010."
In early trading Michael Page's shares were up by 0.97% to 426 Pence