PROFITS at British recruitment company Hays grew by 15 per cent in the first quarter, despite a poor performance by its UK operations.
The rise in net fee income was driven by strong growth overseas – particularly in Asia Pacific and continental Europe – which was enough to offset a four per cent drop in revenues from the UK and Ireland.
The company blamed a sharp decline in public sector markets for the UK slump, as well as “difficult market conditions in our banking and City-related businesses”.
Hays is the latest recruiter to highlight sluggish hiring in the City. In August, Michael Page chief executive Steve Ingham said that growth from the banking sector was slowing in a “challenging” UK market.