International growth aids Hays as UK remains tough

RECRUITMENT group Hays reported an 11 per cent rise in fourth quarter net fees yesterday as growth at its international division helped offset weakness at its UK business, which was hit by continued tough public sector conditions.

Hays, which specialises in placing office workers such as accountants and secretaries, said second half profits had been in line with its expectations, helped by 23 per cent growth in fees from its international business in the three months to the end of June.

The company, which generates nearly two-thirds of its business from outside of the UK, said Europe and rest of the world was now its biggest market in terms of net fees.

Hays said net fees dropped six per cent in the UK, with growth of seven per cent in the private sector offset by tough public sector markets, which were down 34 per cent.

Shares in Hays lost 2.6 per cent yesterday to close at 100.4p.