RECRUITMENT firm Michael Page said profits rose by 8% after the UK’s economic recovery helped lift activity in the jobs market.

The group, which is one of the UK’s largest recruitment firms, described its performance in the first three months of 2010 as encouraging and said all four of its global operating regions showed improvement on the previous quarter.

The company predicted a significant improvement in trading this year, but said there was still a great deal of uncertainty attached to business prospects in UK, Europe and North America.

Profits for the group, which generates 70% of its business outside of the UK, were £97.8m in the three months to March 31 – up 7.9% on the previous quarter and ahead 2.9% on a year earlier.

This reflected stronger than expected trading in the UK, with profits up 9.2% on three months earlier at £28.9m.