PageGroup Plc, a global recruitment firm, has announced a bleak outlook for its annual profit, predicting a nearly 29% drop.
The challenging economic conditions experienced at the end of 2022 have persisted into 2023, with the company now expecting annual operating profit to align with a company-compiled consensus of £140 million ($173.9 million).
This figure is significantly below the £196.1 million reported for fiscal year 2022. The economic climate, marked by high inflation and persistent recession fears, has prompted many companies to cut jobs or freeze hiring, with temporary positions now preferred over permanent roles.
Both candidate and client confidence have been negatively affected, resulting in slower decision-making and a reluctance among candidates to accept job offers. PageGroup has reported a 2.4% decline in gross profit for the three months ending March 31, with the Asia Pacific region weighing heavily on overall performance.
The company operates in approximately 40 countries, with its largest business area, permanent recruitment, experiencing a 7.2% decline in gross profit during Q1. Meanwhile, hiring for temporary positions saw a 15% increase, reflecting the trend towards economic uncertainty.