PageGroup, a UK recruitment company, has announced a decline in group gross profit for the fourth quarter. The company experienced challenging market conditions, which resulted in a slower end to the quarter. Both client and candidate confidence remained weak, contributing to an 8.9% decrease in group gross profit to £237.3 million ($302.6 million) on a constant-currency basis.
PageGroup attributes the decline in profits to customer uncertainty, as well as the timing of year-end salary reviews and bonuses. These factors made trading particularly difficult during this period. Gross profit from permanent recruitment, which accounts for 70% of the company's total gross profit, also experienced a significant decline of 14% to £165.4 million on a constant-currency basis. However, there was a slight increase in gross profit from temporary recruitment, which rose by 5.2% to £71.9 million.
Looking ahead, PageGroup anticipates that its operating profit for the full year will be slightly below the previously guided range of £120 million to £125 million. Despite the challenging market conditions, the company remains optimistic about its performance and is confident in its ability to implement its new strategy to drive long-term profitability.