PageGroup Braces for Tough Year, Projects 50% Drop in Operating Profit

PageGroup Braces for Tough Year, Projects 50% Drop in Operating Profit

Sofia Nogueira
2 min read

PageGroup Forecasts 50% Drop in Operating Profit

British recruitment agency PageGroup Plc anticipates a challenging year with a projected 50% decrease in full-year operating profit to £60 million, down from last year's £119 million. The company attributes this decline to tightened client recruitment budgets and increased geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainties. In the second quarter, PageGroup experienced a 12% decrease in gross profit, amounting to £224 million, with a notable 18% drop in June alone.

The market conditions remain arduous, particularly impacting permanent recruitment, as companies opt for more flexible options amidst prolonged macroeconomic uncertainty. CEO Nicholas Kirk pointed out that interviews converting to accepted offers present a significant challenge due to restrained client and candidate confidence. Although salary levels remain robust, offers to candidates have diminished compared to previous years.

PageGroup's cautious outlook for the second half of the year reflects weaker-than-anticipated trading in June and amplified geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainties. The company expects full-year 2024 operating profit to hover around £60 million, a substantial decrease from the previous year's £118.8 million.

Key Takeaways

  • PageGroup forecasts a 50% decrease in operating profit to £60 million.
  • Tightened client budgets and increased uncertainty impact recruitment.
  • Q2 gross profit fell 12%, with June down 18% year-over-year.
  • Permanent recruitment declines more than temporary hiring.
  • CEO Nicholas Kirk cites subdued confidence and macroeconomic uncertainty.


The anticipated 50% profit drop of PageGroup is primarily attributed to reduced client budgets and escalated uncertainty, affecting not only PageGroup but also related industries and job markets, especially permanent recruitment. This may lead to a market stagnation and reduced hiring flexibility in the short run, and potential industry consolidation and a shift towards temporary hiring practices in the long run. Financial instruments associated with recruitment sectors may also witness declines.

Did You Know?

  • Geopolitical and Macroeconomic Uncertainty:
    • Explanation: This indicates the instability and unpredictability in global political scenarios and broader economic conditions that impact businesses worldwide. In the context of PageGroup, it reflects political tensions and economic fluctuations contributing to a cautious approach among clients, leading to reduced recruitment budgets and a decline in business operations.
  • Conversion of Interviews to Accepted Offers:
    • Explanation: This metric gauges the success rate of a recruitment process, specifically how many job interviews ultimately result in a candidate accepting a job offer. For PageGroup, this has become a significant challenge due to reduced confidence among both clients and candidates, indicating a tougher job market where fewer interviews lead to successful hires.
  • Permanent vs. Temporary Recruitment:
    • Explanation: Permanent recruitment involves hiring employees for long-term positions, while temporary hiring involves short-term or contract-based employment. In the current scenario, PageGroup observes that permanent recruitment is suffering more than temporary hiring, reflecting a trend where companies prefer more flexible staffing solutions due to economic uncertainties.

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