PageGroup, a leading recruitment company in the U.K., has maintained its operating profit guidance for the year despite a decline in pretax profit during the first six months. Temporary recruitment has outperformed permanent recruitment due to the uncertain macroeconomic conditions.

For the period ending June 30, PageGroup reported a pretax profit of £63.3 million, compared to £114.5 million in the previous year. While the company experienced profit growth in its largest region, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (which accounts for 55% of its business), it faced challenges in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and the U.K.

Higher costs, including inflation-driven administrative expenses and an increase in average headcount, contributed to the decline in profit. However, revenue saw an increase from £977.3 million to £1.03 billion.

According to Chief Executive Nicholas Kirk, the tough market conditions seen since the end of 2022 continued into the first half of 2023. Both candidates and clients displayed lower confidence levels, leading to delays in decision-making and candidates being more hesitant to accept offers.

Despite these challenges, PageGroup has declared an interim dividend of 5.13 pence per share, representing a 4.5% increase from the previous year. Additionally, the company announced a special dividend of 15.87 pence.

Looking ahead, PageGroup reaffirmed its operating profit guidance for 2023. In July, the company stated its expectation to meet a consensus figure of £137.6 million for this metric.

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