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PageGroup continues recovery but quarterly gross profit plunges 20%


PageGroup PLC (LON:PAGE) has said it continues to improve since the start of the coronavirus pandemic but fourth-quarter gross profit was still down by a fifth.

In the three months to December 31, 2020, the recruiter’s gross profit dropped by 20% to £165mln, from a 32% fall in the third quarter, with the exit rate last month down 18%.

Japan was the only market that posted growth, with profits rising 18%, while all other regions stayed in the red.

Permanent work accounted for 73% of the mix while temporary work made up the remaining 27%, with profit in both divisions shedding 19%.

Net cash at the end of the period was £165mln.

The fee earner headcount was cut by 78, though it was offset by the hiring of around 400 experienced fee earners.

The firm said it continued investing in its new operating system, where a third of its fee earners are now live.

It has also focused on its data intelligence tool, which allows clients and consultants to consult hiring trends by specialism and geography, using internal and external data.

Shares dipped 1% to 452p on Wednesday morning.

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