July 11, 2018 / 6:26 AM / a year ago

PageGroup expects full-year profit to beat estimates

(Reuters) - Britain’s PageGroup Plc (PAGE.L) expects to beat analysts’ estimates for full-year profit after posting a 14.5 percent year-on-year rise in gross profit in the second quarter, helped by stronger hiring in its international markets.

British staffing companies have been relying on their overseas business to drive growth as uncertainty over the country’s departure from the European Union next year curbs domestic demand and erodes profit.

The recruitment firm said on Wednesday it expects operating profit for 2018 to be slightly ahead of a company-compiled consensus of analysts’ estimates of 134 million pounds. The consensus, in turn, was up from a previous figure of 132 million pounds.

The company, which operates in 36 countries across the world, said gross profit from Europe, the Middle East and Africa - its largest market - jumped nearly 20 percent, while profit from the UK fell for a fifth straight quarter.

PageGroup however warned of challenges in a number of markets, including in the UK from Brexit, trading in Catalonia and upcoming elections in Latin America.

The company, which focuses mainly on placing candidates in permanent rather than temporary jobs, said gross profit rose to 208.2 million pounds ($275.97 million) in the quarter from 181.8 million pounds a year earlier.

Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Sunil Nair

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