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Hays profits fall by 97pc as market continues to suffer

RECRUITMENT giant Hays saw its profits plummet by 97 per cent for the half year after the continued slump in the recruitment market took its toll.

Hays saw profits before tax fall to £3.4m for the six-month period ending 31 December 2009, marking a significant drop from the previous year when profits came in at £100.8m.

The London based group said although its figures were down in the UK generally, recruitment was starting to pick up in London and the Greater London Area.

Hays finance director Paul Venables told City A.M. that London and Greater London were some of the best performers through out the first six months of their financial year.

He said: “Clearly these results are driven by the City first. We saw a post-Northern Rock decline [at first], but London and Greater London have turned in the best performance.”

Cash generated by the company also saw a sharp decline for the half year coming in at £36.1m, marking a 74 per cent drop from 2008 when Hays brought in £137.6m in cash.

Hays said that despite experiencing a difficult UK market, its Asia-Pacific and European operations were performing well.

As a result it will increase headcount in Asia-Pacific by 10 per cent, and in Europe by five per cent.
The company intends to freeze recruitment in the UK and won’t have to make redundancies.

He said: “We are still very cautious as no one expects rapid recovery. The markets are still very anaemic.”