Michael Page Posts Rise in First Quarter Profits
Michael Page International has delivered a strong performance in the first quarter but shares plunged on LSE. (Reuters)

Recruitment firm Michael Page reported a 6% like-for-like gross profit rise to £145.3m (€204.73m, $224.81m) in the second quarter of its 2015 financial year on 14 July.

The company also reported that gross profit in the first half of the financial year jumped by 6.6%, driven by a 12% earnings rise in its UK division

Chief executive at Michael Page, Steve Ingham, said he was happy to report record sales in the high potential markets, with the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) division performing in line with the first quarter of the financial year.

"We are pleased with our performance in Q2 and the outlook is positive for all our regions in the second half," he said. "We remain focused on productivity and ensuring that our conversion continues to improve at a steady rate."

Michael Page, like many others, was hit by foreign currency fluctuations. The EMEA gross profit as reported grew by 0.6% year-by-year, but the company said it went up by 11.4% on a constant basis.

The company's share price has jumped by 34.74% since 31 December 2014, after experiencing a slight dip, as it has reported positive results.

Analysts at Accendo Markets said that the overall results were relatively positive, but said: "Focus is likely on a selection of negatives including persistent FX headwinds which lowered growth reported by around 5%, top-line growth slowing further from Q1, worsening of quarterly growth to flat in the biggest EMEA region [and] unchanged FY guidance suggesting a challenging outlook."

The recruiter reported a slowdown in its Asia Pacific division. It reported it had made great progress in non-financial divisions, such as the development of a new operating system and the creation of a new shared service centre for Europe. Both processes are on target.