- Recruitment firm PageGroup said its gross profit had slumped 34% in the third quarter as the pandemic continued to weigh on job markets.

Gross profit for the three months through September dropped to £143.5 million, down from £216.8 million year-on-year. The fall was 32% on a constant currency basis.

PageGroup said its fee earner headcount had been reduced by 804 year-to-date, mainly comprising recent joiners or those on performance review.

The company was continuing to reopen its offices globally, with 125 out of 142 open at the end of September, albeit subject to further local lockdowns.

Chief executive Steve Ingham said the company's profit performance was on an improving trend, with gross profit on a constant currency basis having fallen 48% in the second quarter.

Profit in the month of September had fallen 26%, with some markets, such as Mainland China and Japan, either flat or returning to growth.

'The improving trading conditions resulted in the group making a small profit in the quarter, despite an increase in our cost base over the second quarter as we returned staff from furlough and to full pay from 1 July,' Ingham said.

Story provided by