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Michael Page Pleased with Q1 Performance

Michael Page Pleased with Q1 Performance

Financial Summary

• Group Q1 gross profit of &pound136.0m up 6.9% (7.7%*) on the &pound127.3m in Q1 2011

• EMEA (44% of Group) Q1 gross profit of &pound60.3m up 7.4% (10.1%*) on the &pound56.2m in Q1 2011

• UK (23% of Group) Q1 gross profit of &pound30.6m down 3.7% on the &pound31.7m in Q1 2011

• Asia Pacific (19% of Group) Q1 gross profit of &pound26.3m up 23.0% (17.8%*) on the &pound21.4m in Q1 2011

• Americas (14% of Group) Q1 gross profit of &pound18.8m up 4.6% (8.2%*) on the &pound18.0m in Q1 2011

• Q1 Permanent gross profit (79% of Group) of &pound106.9m up 6.0% (6.9%*) on the &pound100.9m in Q1 2011

• Q1 Temporary gross profit (21% of Group) of &pound29.1m up 10.3% (10.9%*) on the &pound26.4m in Q1 2011

• Group headcount at 31 March 2012 of 5,309 up 9.4% on the 4,852 at 31 March 2011 and up 23 (0.4%) on the 5,286 at 31 December 2011

• Net cash at 31 March 2012 in the region of &pound63m (&pound58.2m at 31 December 2011)

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

Commenting on first quarter trading, Steve Ingham, Chief Executive said:

"We are pleased with our first quarter performance, with Group gross profit increasing by 8%* against a backdrop of ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty and, in particular, continued weakness in the banking sector.

"We achieved strong rates of growth in EMEA, especially in Germany and France Southern Europe remained weak. In the UK, with the exclusion of banking, we continued to achieve modest year-on-year growth in spite of a very challenging and highly competitive market. Across the Americas we grew, most notably in Latin America. As in the UK and North America, the weakness in the banking sector also reduced our growth rates in Asia. In mainland China, where banking is a less significant part of our business, we grew 49%* and have 205 employees. In Australasia, gross profit grew 14%*, benefitting from the strong commodities sector.

"We continue to benefit from our organic discipline diversification, with Engineering, Property & Construction, Procurement & Supply Chain now producing approximately 19% of the Group's gross profit and growing in the first quarter by 19.4%*.

"We remain committed to investing in developing our business, opening offices in Taipei and Suzhou, in Asia, Casablanca, in Morocco and Bogota, in Colombia. In the first quarter, Group headcount increased by 23 to 5,309.

"Markets continue to be weak and visibility remains limited, however, the Group remains financially strong, with net cash in the region of &pound63m. Operationally, our successful strategy of diversification, both by geography and business discipline, positions us well to benefit from our ongoing investment in those markets which we expect to deliver growth over the long-term and our strong competitive position in more mature markets."


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