Hays profits to top forecasts

Marion Dakers

RECRUITMENT group Hays expects its full-year profits to be at the top end of forecasts, helped by a strong quarter in Europe and the UK.

Hays said its like-for-like fees rose one per cent in the three months to the end of June, its fourth financial quarter.

Income from temporary placements was up five per cent, offsetting a three per cent fall in fees from permanent roles.

Asia Pacific net fees dropped 13 per cent, driven lower by weakness in Australia, but this was more than offset by a solid performance in France and Germany, which posted fee rises of 10 per cent and nine per cent respectively.

Fees were up seven per cent in the UK and Ireland.

“Looking ahead, we expect continued fragile and mixed conditions. Several markets are likely to remain challenging and these will sit alongside clear opportunities for growth,” said chief executive Alistair Cox in a statement.

Hays makes around two-thirds of its fees from accountancy and finance, construction and IT.

Analysts polled by Reuters had been expecting Hays to post £122m operating profit.