- Recruitment company Page said its gross profit fell 2.6% in the fourth quarter, owing to weakness in Asia and the UK.

Gross profit for the three months through December declined to £205.6m, down from £211.0m on-year, the company said. On a constant currency basis, gross profit fell by a more modest 0.4%.

For the full year, gross profit rose 5.0% to £856.0m.

The company's performance in the fourth quarter was affected by falls in gross profit in Asia Pacific, Greater China, Southeast Asia and Australia of 7.9%, 14%, 4% and 7%, respectively.

In the UK during the fourth quarter, gross profit reversed 4.8%.

Those falls were offset by a stronger performance in other regions, such as Germany and the US, where gross profit rose 16% and 10%, respectively.

'The majority of the group's regions were impacted by macro-economic and political uncertainty in the fourth quarter,' chief executive Steve Ingham said.

'Looking ahead, the tough trading conditions experienced during the fourth quarter across the majority of our regions are anticipated to continue.'

Ingham said Page still expected to post an operating profit for 2019 of of £140m to £150m.

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