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PageGroup encountered a wobble in the UK last year thanks to Brexit-induced uncertainty, but the effect of currency swings and growth in continental Europe boosted profits at the recruitment group.

The company, formerly known as Michael Page International, earns around a quarter of its profits in the UK, which is also its largest single market. Gross profit fell 3.5 per cent to £146.3m.

The specialist recruitment group also said conditions in Brazil, which is in a period of prolonged economic slowdown, and the financial services sector in New York were challenging.

However, overall the group had a decent year thanks to growth in continental Europe and Latin America, excluding Brazil.

Revenues rose 12.3 per cent to £1.2bn while pre-tax profit rose 10.3 per cent to £100m. Stripping out the effect of currency moves, revenues were up 3.6 per cent.

Chief executive Steve Ingham said:

Despite the challenges in a number of our larger markets, such as the UK, Brazil and China, the unpredictable nature of the current cycle and our limited visibility, we will continue to focus on driving profitable growth, whilst remaining able to respond quickly to any changes in market conditions.

The total dividend per share, including a special dividend, was 18.44p compared to 27.5p a year earlier.

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