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Strong Performance from Michael Page

Strong Performance from Michael Page
Half Year Results for the Period Ended 30 June 2010
Michael Page International plc, the specialist professional recruitment company, announces its half year results for the period ended 30 June 2010.

Financial summary (6 months to 30 June 2010 )

2010

2009

Change

Change CER*

Revenue

393.5m

364.7m

8%

6%

Gross profit

209.6m

178.8m

17%

15%

Operating profit before NRI

32.5m

5.6m

479%

450%

Profit before tax before NRI

33.0m

6.2m

436%

Basic earnings per share before NRI

6.6p

0.5p

1,220%

Diluted earnings per share before NRI

6.5p

0.5p

1,200%

Operating profit

49.6m

32.2m

54%

Profit before tax

61.4m

43.2m

42%

Basic earnings per share

13.1p

8.8p

49%

Diluted earnings per share

12.8p

8.7p

47%

Interim dividend per share

2.88p

2.88p

-%

*Constant Exchange Rates Non-recurring Items (see note 4)
Highlights
Strong first half benefiting from geographic and discipline diversification
Improved productivity and utilisation of spare capacity driving profit recovery
Asia Pacific, Latin America and newer developing countries growing at 43%* year-on-year
All regions growing sequentially in first half of 2010
71% of gross profit generated from outside the UK
53% of gross profit generated from non Finance and Accounting disciplines
Roll-out of Page Personnel continues with 5 new countries, now in 17 countries
Gross profit from permanent placements growing at 31% (28%*)
Share repurchases of 61.8m during the first half of 2010
Strong balance sheet with net cash at 30 June 2010 of 65.7m (2009: 99.2m)
Interim dividend maintained at 2.88p
Current trading and outlook
Well positioned in underdeveloped markets
Numerous opportunities for growth
Group headcount at 30 June 2010 3,860, up by 311 since start of year
Continuation of recent trends in trading throughout July
Mindful of risks to recovery, quick to react when necessary
Commenting on the results, Steve Ingham, Chief Executive of Michael Page, said: "We delivered a strong performance in the first half of 2010, driven largely by greater permanent recruitment activity as confidence levels improved, leading to higher rates of job churn. While we are now entering the seasonally quieter holiday period, we have seen a continuation of these trends in the Group's performance during July.
"We are benefiting from our investment in diversifying the Group internationally, with over 70% of our gross profit in the first half derived from areas outside of the UK and more than 50% of our gross profit generated from non-Finance and Accounting disciplines. Over 40% of our fee earners are located in developing recruitment markets, where prospects for long-term growth are strong. We have market-leading positions in specialist recruitment in Asia and Latin America and are particularly optimistic about the opportunities available to us in these regions, where we will continue to invest in additional headcount. In the UK, Continental Europe and North America, we have experienced improvements in job flow in virtually all markets.
"It is the nature of our business that visibility is short and the general level of business confidence and economic activity may be threatened by fiscal consolidation in the UK and Europe, however, we remain quick to react to changing market conditions. Having maintained our presence in all our markets, the strength of our geographic discipline and industry sector diversification, combined with our operational gearing, means that our profitability is much improved over last year."

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