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PageGroup Reports Robust Performance

PageGroup Reports Robust Performance

Full Year Results for the Year Ended 31 December 2012

Michael Page International plc ("PageGroup"),  has announced its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2012.

Financial summary          2012       2011       ChangeChange CER*

Revenue              &pound989.9m               &pound1,019.1m           -2.9%     0.3%

Gross profit        &pound526.9m               &pound553.8m               -4.9%     -1.5%

Operating profit before exceptional items &dagger        &pound65.1m&pound86.0m-24.3%  -22.3%

Profit before tax before exceptional items         &pound64.8m&pound86.1m-24.7% 

Basic earnings per share before exceptional items          13.6p     18.7p     -27.3% 

Diluted earnings per share before exceptional items      13.5p     18.2p     -25.8%                                
Operating profit              &pound57.3m&pound86.0m-33.4% 

Profit before tax              &pound57.0m&pound86.1m-33.8% 

Basic earnings per share               11.9p     18.7p     -36.4% 

Diluted earnings per share           11.7p     18.2p     -35.7%                                                                

Total dividend per share               10.0p     10.0p     -             

*Constant Exchange Rates &daggerExceptional items of &pound7.8m relate to a regional management restructure

Highlights

• Group gross profit reduced by -4.9% (-1.5%*)

• Continued investment in diversification

o 77% of gross profit generated outside the UK vs 61% five years ago

o 58% of gross profit generated from non-Finance and Accounting disciplines vs 46% five years ago

• New businesses launched (Colombia and Morocco)

• New offices opened in Cape Town, Maca&eacute (Rio de Janeiro), Suzhou and Taipei

• Gross profit from permanent placements reduced by 7% (-3%*)

• Gross profit from temporary placements increased by 2% (5%*)

• Headcount reduced by 187 (-3.5%) in 2012

• Share repurchases of &pound18.0m during 2012

• Strong balance sheet with net cash at 31 December 2012 of &pound61.4m

• Total dividend maintained at 10.0p

Commenting, Steve Ingham, Chief Executive of PageGroup, said:

"Despite market conditions deteriorating in the second half of 2012, the Group delivered a robust performance with gross profit down 4.9% compared to 2011, a decrease of only 1.5% at constant rates of exchange.

"Trading became more challenging in the second half of the year as business confidence deteriorated. Decision-making processes and time-to-hire lengthened, shortening earnings visibility. Our headcount continued to adjust down to reflect this. It increased, however, in areas where we experienced growth, principally Asia and our newer businesses. Overall headcount reduced during 2012 by 187 (-3.5%) to 5,099 having reached a high of 5,377 in the second quarter of the year.

"It is our clear priority that we continue to manage the cost base to reflect market conditions and, at the same time, invest to create a platform for greater growth when markets improve. During the year, we opened offices in Cape Town and in Maca&eacute (Rio de Janeiro), adding to the new offices in Taipei, Suzhou, Bogota and Casablanca opened earlier in the year. We now have 16 offices in Asia and 20 in Latin America, with combined headcount of 1,129. These two regions produced 21% of our gross profit during 2012.

"Although we anticipate another challenging year in 2013, we expect to see improvement in some markets as the year progresses. We are also encouraged by the sequential increase in the Group's gross profit growth rate during the fourth quarter of 2012, with three of our four regions recording an improvement. We remain financially strong, with net cash of &pound61.4m at the year end.

"While the strength of any recovery is uncertain, we believe that, with a strong balance sheet and spare capacity in the business, we are well positioned to take advantage of any recovery and to respond to improvements in market conditions in 2013."

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