ANALYST VIEWS: HOW STRONG ARE HAYS’ FIGURES?

PAUL JONES | PANMURE

Some decent quarter three growth from Hays, with broad-based progress in a number of areas and driven by international operations. But exposure to the UK public sector is likely to drag overall progress for Hays given the ongoing market challenges, and the ramifications of the Japanese earthquake is likely to take the shine off full-year. We say hold.

DAVID O’BRIEN | SHORE CAPITAL

We think this was a strong result from Hays, although the combination of the continued weakness in the UK public sector and impact of the three natural disasters leads us to believe that it is unlikely that expectations will rise today. We therefore expect the shares to tread water for the near future. We remain positive in the longer term.

ANDY MURPHY | SINGER CAPITAL MARKETS

Net debt increased modestly to £130m and is expected to remain flat in the next quarter. On 1 April Hays announced that an OFT fine had been reduced from £30.36m to £5.88m. This has already been provided for. The weaker performance in the UK is primarily a result of the group's exposure to the public sector. These are solid results.