Hays benefits after a rise in Asian sector

Steve Dinneen
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Recruiter Hays has seen a spike in UK finance workers emigrating to top jobs in Japan, City A.M. has learned.

The trend is part of a larger boom in its Asian markets, which helped offset declining revenues in its UK operations. The region, which now represents 65 per cent of group operating profit, reported a drop in net fees of 18 per cent and a 30 per cent decline in profit to £52m – a far stronger performance than the group as a whole.

A Hays spokesman told City A.M. the spike is partly down to Japanese firms looking to native English-speaking workers who can help to quickly internationalise their workforce, with British financiers high up the list.

Hays, which places people in white-collar jobs, said it made a pretax profit of £71.1m, compared with £151m the previous year, but ahead of the £67.5m consensus.

Turnover for the year was ten per cent higher year-on-year at £2.7bn. Operating profit before exceptional items fell 53 per cent to £80.5m.

Chief executive Alistair Cox said: “The results really are a story of two halves. Our first half saw a very tough market, one of the toughest ever witnessed. We believe we turned the corner in December.”

Mike Allen, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: “Parts of the business have seen good recovery now, it looks like we’ve seen the worst. The UK is still a bit of a laggard, but the company is well positioned in Asia.”