Michael Page Trading Update
Michael Page International plc, the specialist recruitment consultancy, reported at the beginning of October that market conditions had become increasingly challenging as the turmoil in the financial sector had eroded confidence more generally in the wider economy.
This loss of confidence is now more marked and has spread rapidly in November to virtually every industry sector and geographic market in which the Group operates. Consequently, the cautionary behaviour of clients and candidates has increased further, significantly reducing activity levels and shortening the Group's earnings visibility.
With weak market conditions and slowing activity, the Group's cost base and headcount continue to be managed down. Year end headcount is now likely to be around 5,100. The Group now estimates that its full year profits before tax will be around the bottom of the range of current analyst forecasts (Source: Bloomberg 136m) for 2008.