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Michael Page Intl (PAGE)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Monday 08 October, 2012

Michael Page Intl

Q3 Interim Management Statement

RNS Number : 1039O
Michael Page International PLC
08 October 2012

8 October 2012







Financial Summary

·        Group Q3 gross profit £126.5m (£133.3m at constant rates of exchange*), 8.3% below (-7.6%*) Q2 2012 and 11.3% below (-6.5%*) Q3 2011

·        EMEA (39% of Group) Q3 gross profit £49.0m (£54.1m*), 15.0% below (-13.1%*) Q2 2012 and 16.0% below (-7.2%*) Q3 2011

·        Asia Pacific (24% of Group) Q3 gross profit £30.2m (£30.0m*), 1.3% below (-2.7%*) Q2 2012 and 3.2% above (+2.6%*) Q3 2011

·        UK (23% of Group) Q3 gross profit £29.5m, 5.2% below Q2 2012 and 10.9% below Q3 2011

·        Americas (14% of Group) Q3 gross profit £17.8m (£19.7m*), 4.4% below (-2.7%*) Q2 2012 and 18.9% below (-10.3%*) Q3 2011

·        Q3 Permanent gross profit (77% of Group) £97.9m (£103.2m*), 10.4% below (-9.7%*) Q2 2012 and 13.2% below (-8.4%*) Q3 2011

·        Q3 Temporary gross profit (23% of Group) £28.6m (£30.1m*), 0.1% below (+0.1%*) Q2 2012 and 4.5% below (+0.4%*) Q3 2011

·        Headcount: 5,255 at 30 September 2012, reduced by 31 (-0.6%) since the start of the year and by 66 in Q3 2012

·        Shares: 2.4m shares purchased into the Employee Benefit Trust during the third quarter at a cost of £8.5m (0.8% of issued share capital)

·        Dividend: £9.9m interim for 2012 (3.25p per share) paid on 5 October 2012

·        Net cash at 30 September 2012 in the region of £50m (£32.4m at 30 June 2012), or £40m after payment of the interim dividend


* Denotes where overseas results denominated in foreign currencies have been translated at constant rates of exchange for constant currency illustrative purposes.


Commenting on Q3 trading, Steve Ingham, Chief Executive said:


"As we stated in our July update and August half year results, we were anticipating a challenging second half given the seasonally quieter summer period, the tough year-on-year comparables and the ongoing backdrop of economic uncertainty. The third quarter did indeed prove to be challenging across all our regions.  As a result, the Group reported an 8% decrease in gross profit compared to the second quarter and, against last year, a decrease of 11%, or 7% before the impact of exchange rates.


"It remains key for us to manage our cost base, principally headcount, to reflect market conditions.  To that end, we reduced headcount in the EMEA, Americas and UK regions, excluding the annual graduate intake in the UK. In Asia Pacific our headcount was broadly flat.  As usual, the headcount reduction was achieved principally through natural attrition.


"Whilst managing our cost base is important, so too is retaining and growing our platform for when markets improve. We believe we have the right balance and the business remains profitable throughout all our major markets.


"In most regions activity levels improved towards the end of Q3, however, we do anticipate another challenging fourth quarter, with economic conditions and market confidence likely to remain poor for the foreseeable future. The Group continues to be financially prudent, with net cash in the region of £50m at the end of Q3. Reflecting these challenging conditions, we expect our full year operating profit* to be slightly below current analyst expectations **."


* Operating profit from trading activities before the exceptional items announced at the half year

** Reuters consensus £67.7m. Bloomberg consensus £67.8m




Michael Page International plc

01932 264144

Steve Ingham, Chief Executive


Andrew Bracey, Chief Financial Officer


FTI Consulting

020 7269 7291

Richard Mountain / Susanne Yule


The company will host a conference call for analysts and investors at 8.30am today. The live presentation can be viewed by following the link:

The dial-in details for the conference call are as follows:

Dial-In:             +44 (0)20 3140 0668

PIN Code:                   649643 followed by #


The presentation and recording of the call will be available on the company's website later today at:



Michael Page International plc (MPI), the specialist recruitment consultancy, reports third quarter Group gross profit of £126.5m (£133.3m at constant rates of exchange*) (Q3 2011: £142.6m), a decrease of 8.3% (-7.6%*) on Q2 2012 and 11.3% (-6.5%*) on Q3 2011. Group headcount was reduced by 66 (-1.2%) in the quarter to 5,255 at the end of September 2012.


Perm/Temp mix

Group gross profit from permanent recruitment in the third quarter was £97.9m (£103.2m*), a decrease of 10.4% (-9.7%*) on Q2 2012 and 13.2% (-8.4%*) on the £112.7m in Q3 2011. Group gross profit from temporary recruitment in the third quarter was £28.6m (£30.1m*), a decrease of 0.1% (+0.1%*) on Q2 2012 and 4.5% (+0.4%*) on the £29.9m in Q3 2011.


The perm/temp gross profit ratio in the third quarter was 77:23, (Q2 2012: 79:21, Q3 2011: 79:21).


Discipline analysis



Gross Profit

Growth rates


% of Group Q3

Q3 2012

Q3 2011



Finance & Accounting






Legal, Technology, HR, Secretarial, Healthcare






Engineering, Property & Construction, Procurement & Supply Chain






Marketing, Sales & Retail








Geographical analysis


EMEA Gross Profit

(39% of Group in Q3 2012)




Growth rates






Q3 2012 vs. Q2 2012





Q3 2012 vs. Q3 2011





Headcount at 30 September 2012: 2,107 (30 June 2012: 2,185)

Gross profit at constant currency:

·    France (13% of the Group) down 19% on Q2 2012 and down 9% on Q3 2011

·    Germany (7% of the Group) down 4% on Q2 2012 and up 6% on Q3 2011

·    Netherlands (3% of the Group) down 8% on Q2 2012 and down 9% on Q3 2011

·    Italy (3% of the Group) down 18% on Q2 2012 and down 22% on Q3 2011

·    Spain (2% of the Group) down 21% on Q2 2012 and down 22% on Q3 2011

·    Rest of EMEA: Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, U.A.E. (11% of the Group) down 10% on Q2 2012 and down 4% on Q3 2011


In our largest region, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), representing 39% of Group gross profit, market conditions deteriorated throughout the seasonally quieter third quarter. Continued economic uncertainty impacted market confidence across Continental Europe, with all countries, except our smaller businesses and start-ups, down on the prior quarter. Third quarter gross profit was £49.0m (£54.1m*), 15.0% (-13.1%*) below Q2 2012 and a decrease of 16.0% (-7.2%*) on the £58.3m recorded in the third quarter of 2011. The weakening of the Euro relative to sterling impacted the results of the Eurozone countries, with year-on-year growth rates in reported some 9% lower than in constant.  Reflecting the slower market conditions, headcount across the region reduced during the quarter by 78 (-3.6%) to 2,107.


Asia Pacific Gross Profit

(24% of Group in Q3 2012)




Growth rates






Q3 2012 vs. Q2 2012





Q3 2012 vs. Q3 2011





Headcount at 30 September 2012: 1,054 (30 June 2012: 1,050)

Gross profit at constant currency:

·    Asia (13% of the Group) down 3% on Q2 2012 and up 11% on Q3 2011

·    Australia and New Zealand (11% of the Group) down 3% on Q2 2012 and down 6% on Q3 2011


In Asia Pacific, representing 24% of Group gross profit, third quarter gross profit was £30.2m (£30.0m*), 1.3% (2.7%*) below Q2 2012 and an increase of 3.2% (2.6%*) over the £29.2m recorded in the third quarter of 2011. In Australia and New Zealand, third quarter gross profit was 6%* below Q3 2011 and 3%* below Q2 2012.  In Asia, third quarter gross profit was down 3%* on Q2 2012, but 11%* higher year-on-year against Q3 2011. As the economic environment toughened, market conditions in China became more challenging in the quarter. Our businesses in Tokyo and Singapore performed strongly and our newer businesses in Malaysia and India are progressing well. Headcount across the region remained broadly flat in the quarter at 1,054.


UK Gross Profit

(23% of Group in Q3 2012)




Growth rates





Q3 2012 vs. Q2 2012




Q3 2012 vs. Q3 2011




Headcount at 30 September 2012: 1,265 (30 June 2012: 1,243)


In the UK, representing 23% of Group gross profit, third quarter gross profit was £29.5m, a decrease of 5.2% on Q2 2012 and a decrease of 10.9% on the third quarter of 2011. Trading conditions remained tough, with activity levels impacted negatively by the Olympics. Our annual graduate intake during the third quarter accounted for the increase in the headcount, which grew by 22 (+1.8%) to 1,265.


Americas Gross Profit

(14% of Group in Q3 2012)




Growth rates






Q3 2012 vs. Q2 2012





Q3 2012 vs. Q3 2011





Headcount at 30 September 2012: 829 (30 June 2012: 843)

Gross profit at constant currency:

·    Latin America (9% of the Group) down 5% on Q2 2012 and down 13% on Q3 2011

·    North America (5% of the Group) up 2% on Q2 2012 and down 3% on Q3 2011


In the Americas, representing 14% of Group gross profit, third quarter gross profit was £17.8m (£19.7m*), down 4.4% (-2.7%*) on Q2 2012 and a decrease of 18.9% (-10.3%*) over the £22.0m recorded in the third quarter of 2011.


In Latin America, gross profit was down 13%* year-on-year and 5%* below Q2 2012. In Brazil, we continued to be impacted by the slowdown in the economy and exchange rates with year-on-year growth rates at constant rates of exchange some 8% higher than in reported. While our business in Argentina also experienced some slowing, our other businesses in Latin America grew strongly.


In North America, market conditions remained difficult, with gross profit up 2%* on Q2 2012, but 3%* below Q3 2011.


Headcount across the region decreased slightly during the quarter by 14 (-1.7%) to 829.


Share repurchases

During the third quarter, the Employee Benefit Trust purchased 2.4m shares (0.8% of share capital) at a cost of £8.5m (an average price of 349.4p per share). At 30 September 2012, there were 317m shares in issue, of which 14m are held by the Employee Benefit Trust.  Dividends and voting rights on these shares are waived. Accordingly, 303m shares receive dividends and hold voting rights. 23m options were outstanding.


Financial Position

Save for the effects of trading in the third quarter described above, £8.5m share repurchases into the Trust and the payment of the 2012 interim dividend of £9.9m on 5 October 2012, there have been no other significant changes in the financial position of the Group since the publication of the results for the half year ended 30 June 2012.


Net cash at the end of September 2012 was in the region of £50m (£32.4m at 30 June 2012).



Cautionary statement

This Third Quarter 2012 Interim Management Statement ("IMS") has been prepared solely to provide additional information to shareholders to assess the Group's strategies and the potential for those strategies to succeed. The IMS should not be relied on by any other party or for any other purpose. This IMS contains certain forward-looking statements. These statements are made by the directors in good faith based on the information available to them up to the time of their approval of this report and such statements should be treated with caution due to the inherent uncertainties, including both economic and business risk factors, underlying any such forward-looking information.


This IMS has been prepared for the Group as a whole and therefore gives greater emphasis to those matters which are significant to Michael Page International plc and its subsidiary undertakings when viewed as a whole.


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