- Recruitment company PageGroup said its fourth-quarter gross profit had fallen by almost a fifth, as the pandemic continues to pressure employment markets.

Gross profit, or net fee income, for the three months through December dropped to £165.5 million, down from £205.1 million year-on-year.

For the full year, gross profit fell 28% to £609.7 million.

PageGroup said it had seen a monthly sequential improvement through the fourth quarter, with gross profit in December down 18.2%.

The company's fee-earner headcount had been cut by a net 882, for 15%, over the year.

'The group's results improved in each of the three months of Q4, which continued the monthly sequential improvement since May,' chief executive Steve Ingham said.

'This performance was achieved despite the background of continued and increasing restrictions or lockdowns in many of our markets.'

'As we enter 2021, there remains a high degree of global macro-economic uncertainty in many of our markets, as Covid-19 remains a significant global issue and lockdowns have returned in a number of the group's markets.'

'However, in the UK we are encouraged that the Brexit deal has provided a degree of clarity.'

'We remain confident in our strategy of maintaining our platform and continuing to carefully invest in headcount, as well as continuing to roll-out new technology and innovation.'

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