FINANCIALS: PageGroup profits down as clients’ recruitment budgets tighten

PageGroup has reported “financial deteriorations” across all geographies except India today [15 April 2024] as ongoing market conditions continue to challenge the global recruitment company.

In 2024’s first quarter, group gross profit was down 12.8% in constant currency compared to £219.7m against Q1 2023’s £263m. Faring the worst were Japan, down 26% from the same time last year, the UK down 19.2% and the PageGroup brand Michael Page down 20%.

Fee earner headcount fell by 100 to 5,751 from Q1 2023’s 6,639, however productivity increased by 1% in this year’s first quarter. Non-operations headcount rose by 19 in Q1, bringing total group headcount to 7,778.

With its gross profits increasing by 13%, India was the shining jewel in the Page crown, standing out from the group and the Asia-Pacific region. The region’s gross profits were down by 15.7% in constant currency, where Greater China’s gross profit was down by 15%, South-East Asia down 3% and as mentioned above, Japan’s gross profit falling by 26%. 

In a statement, PageGroup said: “The slowdown we saw at the end of Q4 2023 continued into Q1 [2024], with some deterioration experienced, particularly within Continental Europe. Trading conditions in Asia, the UK and the US saw no improvement with low levels of client and candidate confidence continuing to delay time to hire, particularly in permanent recruitment.

“As clients’ recruitment budgets have tightened they have become more risk averse, which has slowed the recruitment process. Although salary levels remain strong, offers made to candidates were not as elevated as they were in 2022 and early 2023.”

The group will issue its Q2 results on 10 July 2024.

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