Belfast Telegraph

Brexit uncertainty hitting UK recruitment, warns Page Group amid flat profits

Recruitment firm Page Group has warned that Brexit uncertainty is continuing to hurt the British hiring market.

The company's UK arm, which comprises 22% of the group's business, saw growth fall back 0.1% in the first quarter, with gross profits coming in flat at £36.4 million.

"Client and candidate confidence levels remain impacted by Brexit-related uncertainty," boss Steve Ingham said, although he added that the flat result was the firm's best UK performance for a year.

The firm's private sector business, which represents 88% of the UK market, saw flat growth while the public sector, which represents 12%, declined 2%.

However, the recruiter said total gross profit in the quarter rose 9% to a record £170.3 million, driven by strong performances in Europe and the Americas.

Mr Ingham said: "We are pleased with the strong performance across the majority of our regions, but note the timing of Easter benefited the overall quarterly result.

"Furthermore, there remain a number of uncertainties as we continue through 2017, including the impact of Brexit in the UK, elections in Europe and Brazil's ongoing macro-economic challenges.

"Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on driving profitable growth, while being able to respond quickly to any changes in market conditions."

Shares rose 7% to 475.6p in morning trading.

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