Recruitment company PageGroup notched a 20% rise in annual profit after a strong performance at its overseas businesses offset weakness at home in the UK. Pre-tax profit for the year through December climbed to £142.3m, as revenue rose 13% to £1.55bn. Gross profit fell 1.7% in the UK, but rose 19%, 18% and 19% in EMEA, Asia Pacific and the Americas, respectively. PageGroup declared a full-year dividend of 13.10p, up 4.8% on-year. It had paid a special dividend of 12.73p per share in October. 'This result was due to a combination of improved business performance and increased operational efficiencies, balanced by the level of investment, which has produced positive operational gearing,' chief executive Steve Ingham said. 'We are mindful of the macro-economic uncertainties that exist, but we will continue to focus on driving profitable growth, while continuing our strategic investments towards our Vision of 10,000 headcount, £1bn of gross profit and £200m-to-£250m of operating profit.' 'Our flexible and diversified business model ensures that we are able to respond quickly to changes in market conditions.'
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