Michael Page profits halve but confidence improves

”Michael

Britain’s second-largest recruitment company, Michael Page, has announced a 49% decline in first-half profit after firms cut back on hiring new staff amid the recession.

The recruiter reported a pre-tax profit of £43.2 million for the first half of 2009, down 49% compared with the same period ago. Meanwhile, revenue during the period was 27% lower at £364.7 million.

However, Michael Page did point out that “It’s too early to call the end of the recession, but confidence has improved, and people seem to want to move jobs more now than they did before.”

The firm, which was established in 1976, added that the third quarter will be challenging and said it has itself shed around a third of its staff (1,200 employees) during the year to June.

Shares in the group have risen by around 25% in the last three months, outperforming the support services sector by 50%. However they were down in mid-morning trading today by 1.2% at 315.80 pence.

The company operates in 28 countries throughout the world.

In related news, the Office for National Statistics revealed last week that the number of unemployed in the UK has risen to its highest level since 1995.

Official figures show that unemployment increased by 220,000 to 2,435,000 in the three months to June, and takes the unemployment rate to 7.8%. The figures equate to around 2,500 losing their jobs a day.

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