FILE PHOTO - The London Eye, the Big Ben clock tower and the City of London financial district are seen from the Broadway development site in central London, Britain, August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

Recruiting firm PageGroup said on Monday it faced a slowdown in an important hiring metric during the final quarter of last year, while also flagging the potential effects of rising uncertainty globally on its business.

The FTSE 250 group increased the number of its staff that generate fees by 561 over the first nine months of the year, an average of 187 per quarter, but that number dropped to just 58 in the fourth quarter.

“Whilst additions in the fourth quarter are normally lower, we are also mindful of the heightened geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty, which has the potential to impact client and candidate confidence,” the company said.

Shares fell more than 6 per cent in London trading.

Page’s German business grew gross profits 28 per cent on a constant currency basis, driven by interim employment, which handles temporary and contracting recruitment.

But elsewhere, its UK business has stumbled since Brexit. Gross profit was up 2.1 per cent in the fourth quarter.

Group gross profit increased 15.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with 13.8 per cent over the same period in 2017.

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