Hays lifted by Asia as jobs in City shrink

RECRUITMENT company Hays yesterday said its UK business had been hit by a slump in the banking sector.

But Hays still reported a 50 per cent rise in full year profit thanks to the strong performance of international markets.

For the year to the end of June its profits were £106.6m, in line with market expectations and up from £71.1m a year earlier.

The group’s net fees rose 21 per cent to £672.1m, with two-thirds of the total now coming from outside Britain.

Chief executive Alistair Cox said of the UK performance: “We achieved an excellent growth of 27 per cent in the first half in the private sector.

“We saw that steadily decelerate during the second half, in large part due to the tougher conditions we all know about in the banking and City related businesses.”

UK banks have revealed that they will cut at least 48,000 jobs globally in the next three years as the come under pressure from regulation and difficulties in driving revenue.

Cox said Asia growth was the key as an antidote to UK gloom. “There are significant opportunities right across the Asia region to continue to grow our business,” he added.

Earlier this month rival recruiter Michael Page also warned of a slowdown in a banking sector.