Michael Page, the recruitment company, has reported another difficult period as it announced its trading statement for the first quarter. The company which supplies IT staff, as well as other trades, to a wide variety of organisations, said group wide profits had decreased by 32 per cent.

For same period last year Michael Page recorded group profits of £140 million, this year it could only count £95m, a 32 per cent drop. As a result of the difficult trading conditions during the recession Michael Page has drastically reduced its staff headcount, losing 809 staff group wide.

In the UK profits dropped 38.7 per cent from £47.1m to £28.9. "The impact of the financial crisis is now evident in virtually every market and discipline in which we operate, albeit in varying degrees," said Steve Ingham, the chief executive of Michael Page. "We continue to reduce our cost base to reflect the lower levels of activity. While we anticipate that our overall cost base and headcount will reduce in the quarter."

Michael Page did report though that its UK public sector division continues to see growth.

Globally every market has been hit. Michael Page reported a decrease of 38.7 per cent in profits in its Asia Pacific operations as the recession in Australia and Asia worsens. The US group saw a decrease of 22.6 per cent, and every market within Europe also reported drops in revenue.

The year started poorly for Michael Page and rivals Hays, who both reported in January that demand for full time staff had dented their fourth quarter profits as companies delayed or cancelled recruitment plans.