Belfast Telegraph

Specialist recruitment firm PageGroup sees profits fall amid Brexit uncertainty

UK profits at recruitment firm PageGroup have taken a Brexit hit, with financial services bearing the brunt of the pain.

The group said that British profits slumped 4.7% to £37.8 million in the third quarter, with financial services profit falling 14%. The sector accounts for 4% of its UK business.

Chief executive Steve Ingham said: "In the UK, confidence levels remained fragile and below levels seen earlier in the year.

"With the prevailing uncertainty in the UK, the challenges in some of our other larger markets and the unpredictable nature of the current cycle, we remain cautious in our short-term outlook."

The news comes as the Government signals Britain is hurtling towards a so-called "hard Brexit", whereby the UK would ditch the EU's single market, a move that many argue would be catastrophic for businesses, the economy and the financial services sector.

However, the firm said it will be boosted by the collapse in sterling, which will see £45 million added to gross profits and £10 million to operating profits over the full year.

PageGroup, formerly known as Michael Page International, added that technology was its best performing sector in the UK, with growth of 22%.

Globally, profits rose 1.3% to £158.6 million, driven by a strong performance in Europe.