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Michael Page in strong UK half-year performance

EXECUTIVE RECRUITER Michael Page has announced strong worldwide half-year figures, with the UK among its best-performing territories.

Gross profits rising 12% on the same period last year make the UK the firm’s highest-growth region in the first half of 2015, bringing in £75.7m, up from £67.6m.

Asia-Pacific and the Americas follow closely, posting growth rates of 9.2% and 7.5% respectively ahead of an anaemic Europe at 1.6%.

A rise in permanent job vacancies helped gross profits to rise 6% to £145.3m in the second quarter.

However, the closure of the firm’s operations in Russia – at a cost of £1m – goes some way to explain the comparatively poor showing in Europe, and when adjusted, grew “in-line”, according to a statement to markets. Currency fluctuations also had an impact on its European performance.

The London-based FTSE 250 business said its key growth markets of Germany, greater China, South-East Asia, the US and Latin America were performing “at record level”.

“We are pleased with our performance in Q2 and the outlook is positive for all our regions in the second half,” the recruiter’s statement said.

“We remain focused on productivity and ensuring that our conversion continues to improve at a steady rate. Excluding the effects of foreign exchange movements during the second quarter, forecast to reduce full year operating profit by an additional £4m (£2m in Q1, £6m in total), the board’s expectations for the full year results remain unchanged.”

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