PageGroup reports slowing hiring in some markets, stocks fall

  • H1 operating profit up 79%
  • First-half revenue up around 28%
  • Operating profit for the year in line with expectations

Aug 8 (Reuters) – PageGroup (PAGE.L) noted a “slight slowdown in the hiring lag” in July in some of its markets as economies grapple with high inflation and downside risks, although the global staffing firm announced on Monday its full-year profit would be in line with market expectations.

Shares of the company, which owns brands such as Michael Page and Page Executive and operates in 37 countries, fell about 10%.

Recruitment agencies have boomed in recent months as employers rush to fill vacancies left during pandemic-related shutdowns, but high inflation and recession risks threaten their prospects as businesses slow usually their hiring plans during times of economic uncertainty.

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A survey last week showed UK employers slowed their hiring through recruitment agencies the most in July in 17 months as they grew increasingly worried about the outlook for the economy. Read more

“In July, we noted a slight slowdown in hiring times in some of our markets, and we continue to closely monitor our forward-looking KPIs,” said PageGroup Chief Executive Steve Ingham, in a press release.

“However, at this stage, our full year 2022 operating profit expectations remain in line with the company’s compiled consensus of £206m,” he added.

Wage inflation as well as high demand and shortage of applicants, coupled with a shorter time to hire due to video interviews, have driven its recruiter productivity to record highs, PageGroup said.

The London-listed company, which helps hire executives, professionals and office staff, said operating profit for the six months to June 30 jumped 79.3% to 115.3 million pounds ($139.2 million).

The Weybridge, England-based company also announced a special dividend of 26.71 pence per share.

($1 = 0.8282 pounds)

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Reporting by Amna Karimi and Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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