United Kingdom

Recruiter PageGroup reinstates dividend after strong first half

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Aug 9 (Reuters) - Global recruiter PageGroup Plc (PAGE.L) said on Monday it would spend 100 million pounds ($138.81 million) on shareholder returns as trading conditions improved in the first half, even as a number of its markets reinforced curbs due to the new coronavirus variant.

PageGroup, which reported a 17% jump in revenue to 766.4 million pounds for the six months ended June 30, said in a statement its was not clear whether the improved performance was the result of pent-up demand or a sustainable trend.

The UK-based firm reported half-year operating profit of 64.3 million pounds, compared to 400,000 pounds in the pandemic-battered 2020 period, and 75.6 million pounds in the comparable period in 2019.

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The recruiter said improved business and liquidity in the first half of the year helped it reinstate an interim dividend of 4.70 pence per share and set a special dividend of 26.71 per share, together totalling 100 million pounds.

"Looking ahead, there continues to be a high degree of global macro-economic uncertainty as COVID-19 remains a significant issue and restrictions continue in a number of the Group's markets," Chief Executive Officer Steve Ingham said.

($1 = 0.7204 pounds)

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Reporting by Chris Peters and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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