Michael Page warns of continued tough conditions in recruitment market

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Shares in Michael Page tumbled more than 5 per cent this afternoon after the recruitment firm said it expected the second quarter of its financial year would be “challenging”.

The group said tough conditions in France and Germany contributed to a 13.8 per cent decline in first-quarter profits across its largest division of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In the UK, which accounts for almost a quarter of the firm’s earnings, profits were down 1.2 per cent compared with a year ago, and overall profits were down 6.7 per cent at £126.8 million.

Chief executive Steve Ingham said: “Activity levels remained strong in the quarter, but with difficult trading conditions continuing in several markets, we anticipate the second quarter to be a challenging quarter.”

Page’s shares were down 22.3p, or 5.6 per cent, at 375p in afternoon trading.