Global – PageGroup’s annual revenue increases by 30.2% in constant currency, gross margin jumps by 49%


March 03, 2022

PageGroup, a UK-based staffing firm with global operations, saw its reported revenue jump 30.2% in constant currency for the year ended December 31, 2021.

Steve Ingham, Chief Executive, said: “I am pleased to report that 2021 has been a banner year for the group, both in terms of gross profit and operating profit. We have prioritized the protection and well-being of our employees, candidates and clients during the pandemic, while making clear decisions regarding strategic investments in our platform to gain market share in the recovery, which is reflected in our record results.

“We saw a strong quarterly improvement throughout the year, with the group returning to growth versus 2019 from the second quarter, recording growth at constant exchange rates of 2%, 13% and 24% for the second, third and fourth quarters respectively,” Ingham said.

Group gross profit rose 49.1% in constant currency to £877.7 million, a record year for the group.

(in millions of £) FISCAL YEAR 2021 FISCAL YEAR 2020 % change % change constant currency
Income 1,643.7 1,304.8 26.0% 30.2%
Gross profit 877.7 610.2 43.8% 49.1%
Gross margin 53.4% 46.8%
profit of the year 118.3 -5.7

Operating profit was £168.5 million, compared to £17.0 million the previous year.

“We have a resilient and highly diversified business model, focused on high-potential disciplines such as technology and health and life sciences that are delivering strong results during the pandemic and during the recovery. Our large high-potential geographic markets all had a record year in 2021, up 60%, collectively, now representing 38% of the group,” Ingham said.

“We remain confident in our investment and platform development strategy. We have continued to carefully invest in the workforce, as evidenced by the approximately 400 experienced hires we added in 2020, and the approximately 700 additional hires in 2021,” Ingham said. “Our workforce is now up 1% from pre-pandemic levels at the end of 2019. We have also continued to invest in the implementation of new technologies and innovations, with our new operating system , Customer Connect, now available across the group, excluding Latin America, which is scheduled to go live in the first half of 2022.”

“Our strong focus on productivity, up 43.7% compared to 2020, resulted in an improvement in our conversion rate to 19.2% (2020: 2.8%). With the acceleration from gross margin growth and increased productivity, our H2 conversion rate increased to 22%,” added Ingham.

Revenue by geographic area

(in millions of £) FISCAL YEAR 2021 FISCAL YEAR 2020 Change % % change (constant currency)
EMEA 869.6 717.3 21.2% 25.5%
Asia Pacific 282.0 216.0 30.5% 34.3%
Americas 220.7 154.3 43.0% 53.9%
UK 271.5 217.3 24.9%

EMEA is the group’s largest region, contributing 49% of the group’s gross profit during the year. Gross margin increased by 40.3% at constant exchange rates. Business conditions improved significantly during the year as vaccines were successfully rolled out across the region and lockdown restrictions eased.

Asia-Pacific accounted for 20% of the group’s gross margin in 2021, with 80% of the region being Asia and 20% Australia. Gross margin increased by 53.1% at constant exchange rates.

The Americas represented 16% of the Group’s gross margin in 2021, with North America representing 62% of the region and Latin America 38%. Gross margin increased by 66.9% at constant exchange rates.

The UK accounted for 15% of the group’s gross margin in 2021, operating from 26 offices covering all major cities. Gross margin increased by 58% at reported and constant exchange rates. Covid-19 continued to impact trading during the first half of 2021, with restrictions in place for most of the first and second quarters. Business conditions then began to improve steadily, with the region returning to growth in the third quarter compared to 2019.

Looking ahead, Ingham said: “As we enter 2022, we are mindful of the macroeconomic uncertainties that exist. However, we have a flexible and highly diversified business model that allows us to adapt quickly to changing market conditions. We continue to develop our platform, invest prudently in people and prioritize the deployment of new technologies. We are the undisputed leader in many of our markets, with a highly experienced management team, which positions us well to take advantage of growth opportunities in our business. We remain focused on our vision for the group to be the leading specialist recruiter in each of the markets in which we operate.

PageGroup shares last traded at £543.50, down 2.34% on the day and 23.02% above the 52-week low of £441.80 set on March 25 2021. The company has a market capitalization of £1.83 billion.


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