Michael Page hit by fewer jobs in the banking sector

Michael Page International has warned that the jobs contraction in the UK banking sector is hitting its profits, sending its shares down 8.1%.

Banks account for 10% of the business of the recruitment group, which said it expected UK trading conditions to "remain challenging".

The comments came as Michael Page reported a 26% fall in profits for the six months to 30 June.

Its pre-tax profit was £45.5m, down from £61.4m a year earlier.

Michael Page's revenues were up 25.8% to £502.1m.

Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland have all announced job cuts in recent weeks.

The recruiter said matters were also not being helped by the current turmoil in the financial markets.

Its fall in half-year profits came as the company continued to invest in its global expansion, opening new offices in Houston, Pudong and Porto, and taking on an extra 623 worldwide employees.

Michael Page also opened new businesses in Qatar, Malaysia and India.

Steve Ingham, chief executive, said: "In Europe we expect to continue our progress and our outlook for Asia and Latin America remains strong."

Michael Page's share price has fallen sharply over the past month after rival Hays warned of a slowdown in the financial services sector.

Its shares were down a further 32.70 pence to 367.70p in afternoon trading.

The company employs more than 1,300 people in the UK.

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