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Encouraging Performance From Michael Page International

Encouraging Performance From Michael Page International

Michael Page International plc has issued its Q1 Interim Management Statement.

Financial Summary
Group Q1 gross profit of 97.8m, sequentially 7.2m or 7.9% (7.9%*) on Q4 2009 and 2.9% (-5.3%*) on the 95.0m in Q1 2009
EMEA (46% of Group) Q1 gross profit of 44.6m, sequentially 2.4m or 5.6% (7.6%*) on Q4 2009 and -6.5% (-14.9%*) against the 47.7m in Q1 2009
UK (30% of Group) Q1 gross profit of 28.9m, sequentially 2.4m or 9.2% on Q4 2009 and flat against 28.9m in Q1 2009
Asia Pacific (13% of Group) Q1 gross profit of 13.2m, sequentially 1.0m or 7.5% (3.2%*) on Q4 2009 and 39.3% (15.0%*) against the 9.4m in Q1 2009
Americas (11% of Group) Q1 gross profit of 11.1m, sequentially 1.5m or 15.3% (11.9%*) on Q4 2009 and 23.9% (7.5%*) against the 9.0m in Q1 2009
Q1 Permanent gross profit (77% of Group) sequentially 8.5m or 12.9% (12.8%*) on Q4 2009 and 13.0% (3.6%*) against the 66.3m in Q1 2009
Q1 Temporary gross profit (23% of Group) sequentially -1.3m or -5.7% (-5.6%*) on Q4 2009 and
-20.3% (-25.8%*) against the 28.7m in Q1 2009
Group headcount at 31 March 2010 of 3,659, 110 (3.1%) more than at 31 December 2009
8.7m shares (2.7% of share capital) purchased during the quarter
Net cash at 31 March 2010 in the region of 118m (137.2m at 31 December 2009)

* Denotes where overseas results denominated in foreign currencies have been translated at constant rates of exchange for constant currency illustrative purposes.

Commenting on the first quarter trading, Steve Ingham, Chief Executive said: "Our performance in the first quarter was encouraging, with gross profit up 8% sequentially on the fourth quarter of 2009 at 98m and all four of our geographic regions now reporting sequential growth. The improvement in our performance has been driven largely by greater permanent recruitment activity, as confidence levels have increased leading to a higher rate of job churn, and a stronger than expected performance in the UK.

"Over the last few years we have concentrated our investment in diversifying the Group internationally and we now have 40% of our fee earners in underdeveloped markets. We have strong market leading positions in specialist recruitment in Asia and Latin America and are particularly optimistic about our prospects in these regions. While we believe the outlook for the UK, Continental Europe and North America is less certain, we are now experiencing an improvement in almost all markets. With the benefit of maintaining our presence in all our markets, our lower cost base and our operational gearing, we are well positioned to improve significantly our performance in 2010."

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