UK recruitment consultancy Michael Page International Plc reported a 32 percent rise in fourth-quarter gross profit, as most of the growth came from permanent recruitment and said it was optimistic about its 2011 prospects.

The company said it saw steady growth in the UK and strong growth in most of Europe, Australia and North America.

However, with more than 40 percent of our fee earners now operating in our newer markets, including Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, with faster growing economies and limited competition, we are making rapid progress and are ideally placed for this to continue, said chief executive Steve Ingham.

The company said fourth-quarter gross profit rose 32 percent to 119.8 million pounds ($186 million) from last year and up 6.2 percent sequentially. Full-year gross profit increased nearly 26 percent to 442 million pounds.

Group gross profit from permanent recruitment in the fourth quarter surged 40 percent to 93.1 million pounds, while gross profit from temporary recruitment rose 10 percent to 26.7 million pounds.

For the full year, the company expects operating profit from trading activities to be marginally ahead of the current Reuters consensus of 70.1 million pounds.

The group will issue its full-year results on March 7.

Shares of Michael Page ended Friday's trading at 540 pence on the London Stock Exchange, 4.76 percent below its 52-week high of 567.00, set on December 22, 2010.