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PageGroup profits rise as strong offshore showing offsets weaker UK

Recruitment firm PageGroup said it expected its annual profit performance to be in line with consensus expectations after it boosted earnings in the fourth quarter, mostly from its overseas operations.

Gross profit for the three months through December in constant currency terms rose 15.4%, helping gross profit for the full year to rise 15.9% to £815.0m.

PageGroup said it expected its full-year operating profit to be in line with the current consensus analyst forecast of £141.8m.

In the fourth quarter, constant currency gross profit in the UK rose 2.1%, though for the full year it fell 1.7%.

The company notched up a much stronger performance overseas, with fourth-quarter gross profit in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific jumping by 29.2%, 13.9% and 22.0% in constant currency.

For the full year, gross profit from the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific rose by 27.3%, 17.9% and 20.7%, respectively.

Chief executive noted that the company had recorded its second consecutive quarter of growth in the UK, despite Brexit uncertainty.

'We will continue to focus on driving profitable growth, while continuing our strategic investments towards our Vision of 10,000 headcount, £1bn of gross profit and £200m - £250m of operating profit,; he said.

'Our flexible and diversified business model ensures that we are able to respond quickly to changes in market conditions.'

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