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PageGroup reports Y/E 2015 gross profit of £556m

Michael Page International plc ("PageGroup") has announced its full year results for the year ended 31st December 2015.


The company reported that revenue for the year was £1,064.9m, up 7.1% from £1046.9m in 2014.


Gross profit rose 9.3% from £532.8m in 2014 to £556.1m in 2015. Michael Page stated that all regions grew gross profit year-on-year. Strong gross profit was reported in the UK +10%, Germany +14%, US +19% and Greater China +11%.


Operating profit before exceptional terms was £90.1m, up 20.2% from £78.5m in 2014. Profit before tax before exceptional terms rose from £78.4m in 2014 to £90.7m, a 15.6% increase.


Basic earnings per share before exceptional terms were 21.3p in 2015, up 15.8% from 18.4p in 2014.


Steve Ingham, chief executive officer of PageGroup, said, "PageGroup delivered an increase of 9.3% in gross profit and 20.2% in operating profit in constant currencies in 2015 and we achieved a record result from our Large, High Potential Markets. The Group's conversion rate rose to 16.2% from 14.7%, reflecting an improved business performance and operational efficiencies. In 2015, foreign exchange continued to impact our results, with gross profit reduced by £26m and operating profit by £4m.


"Fee earner headcount grew 206 (+4.8%) to end the year at a record level for the Group. With our continued focus on operational efficiencies, we maintained our record fee earner to operational support staff ratio of 77:23.


"The roll-out of our new operating system, Page Recruitment System ("PRS"), progressed well in the year. Having started 2015 with around a third of our fee earners on the new system, we now have  c. 85%, exceeding our year-end target of 80%. We expect to complete the roll-out in 2016.


"Our businesses in Continental Europe, the US and Latin America, excluding Brazil, all performed well. Brazil and Australia continued to find conditions difficult and towards the end of the year we also experienced tougher trading in Greater China as the economic slowdown and financial market uncertainty impacted confidence. The UK also saw a slowdown in the final quarter as a result of our clients' increasing reluctance to make offers to candidates, particularly with our more senior assignments.


"Trading so far in Q1 has continued in a similar pattern to that seen in Q4, with the exception of Greater China where we have seen trading conditions deteriorate further, particularly with our multinational clients and in Hong Kong.


"Despite challenges in a number of our larger markets, the unpredictable nature of the current cycle and our limited visibility, we will continue to focus on driving profitable growth in 2016, as we did throughout 2015, whilst remaining able to respond quickly to any changes in market conditions."


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