PageGroup expects profit beat

PageGroup said it expected its annual profit to be ahead of consensus market expectations but in line with the range of market forecasts.

Consensus expectations currently point to an annual operating profit of £115m, it said, with a range of £112m-to-£119m.

The company also forecast a 14.6% rise in "gross profit" to a record £711.6m, boosted by foreign exchange gains.

"Looking forward, we remain cautious in several markets as we enter 2018: primarily in the UK, where we will continue to focus on protecting margins whilst investing in structural opportunities," chief executive Steve Ingham said.

The company also remained cautious on Australia, where it had invested in headcount and a new office in Canberra; and in Brazil, which it said remained challenging, despite a stronger performance in the fourth quarter.

"However, we will continue to invest in our large high potential markets, as well as in markets with favourable trading conditions, both existing and new markets, such as India and the Nikkei market in Japan," Ingham said.

"We will, as always, continue to focus on driving profitable growth while being able to respond quickly to changes in market conditions."

At 8:02am: (LON:PAGE) PageGroup Plc share price was +24.7p at 495.5p