LONDON -- Michael Page
Chief executive Steve Ingham pointed at the "seasonally quieter summer period in both continental Europe and the UK," alongside the "ongoing backdrop of economic uncertainty," as main factors for the slump.
In its half-year results, the company reported broadly flat gross profit of 273.9 million pounds, down only -0.5% from 2011's H1 gross profit of 275.1 million pounds. Michael Page also announced that the business remains profitable in all key markets and believes itself to be in a strong position to prosper when the economy recovers.
The Group is financially strong, with net cash of 32.4 million pounds. We remain well placed to take advantage of any recovery in the markets in which we operate. At this time, we expect our full year operating profit from trading activities to be broadly in line with current market estimates.
Although basic earnings per share were down 39% from the same point last year, the interim dividend has been held at 3.25 pence. As a result of the news as a whole, shares dipped only marginally on the news this morning, opening at 375.90 pence from last night's close of 379 pence and rebounding to 378.4 pence at the time of writing.
Investing is by no means easy in today's uncertain economy. That's why we've published "Top Sectors for 2012" -- our guide to three favorable industries. This free report will be dispatched immediately to your inbox.
Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:
Sam does not own shares in Michael Page. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
More from The Motley Fool
3 Stocks That Turned $7,000 Into $28,000
FInd out how these stocks have crushed the market since 2013.
3 Tips for a Smooth Tax-Filing Process
Yes, it's that time again. Here's how to file your taxes while keeping your sanity intact.
Amazon-Whole Foods Is Not What the Market Expected
Several months after the blockbuster deal, business is thriving for traditional supermarket chains. Meanwhile, Whole Foods is facing its own set of challenges.