FINANCIALS: PageGroup posts profits across the group

International recruiter PageGroup has seen group gross profit increase 15.4% year-on-year, buoyed by growth in its Americas operation.

A trading update for Q4 2018 reveals the group’s Americas operation saw GP increase 27% year-on-year – from £25.2m to £32m, while its Asia Pacific operation saw GP increase 23.1% on the previous year – from £33.5m to £41.2m – and its EMEA operations saw GP increase 14.9% from £90.9m to £104.4m over the period. 

GP growth was more muted in the UK, with GP up 2.1%, from £32.8m to £33.5m.

Commenting on the group’s performance, CEO Steve Ingham said: “The group delivered Q4 GP growth of 15.4% against a tough comparator, where growth improved from around 9% in the first three quarters of 2017 to around 14% in Q4. 2018 was a record year for the group, and Q4 was a record quarter, with all of our four regions delivering growth and 20 countries growing at over 20%.

“Our five large, high potential markets of Germany, Greater China, Latin America, South East Asia and the US continued to perform strongly, growing 25% collectively, with all five delivering a record year. 

“In our six large, proven markets, the UK delivered a second consecutive quarter of marginal growth, up 2.1%, despite continued Brexit related uncertainty. France grew 10% despite a tough comparator and the impact of the disruption from the ‘gilet jaunes’ protests. Italy and the Netherlands continued to perform well, up 23% and 15%, respectively. Spain, despite the continued challenges in Catalonia, grew 10%, slightly above its Q3 growth rate. Australia, following our investments in fee earner headcount and a new office in Canberra, performed strongly, with growth of 25%, up from 17% growth in Q3.”

He concluded: “We will continue to focus on driving profitable growth, while continuing our strategic investments towards our vision of 10,000 headcount, £1bn of GP and £200m-£250m of operating profit. Our flexible and diversified business model ensures that we are able to respond quickly to changes in market conditions.”

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