Thursday 18 February 2021 7:40 am

Recruitment firm Hays to pay out £150m in special dividends

Hays plc said on Thursday it had identified £150m of surplus capital that it plans to return to shareholders as special dividends.

The move was encouraged by hiring activity rebounding to pre-Christmas levels by early February.

Alistair Cox, CEO of Hays, said: “With recovery in fees and our profits accelerating in Q2, this provides us with confidence to resume paying core dividends at our full-year results in August.”

London-based Hays provides recruitment and human resources services across 33 countries globally.

It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Half-year results

Hays saw its operating profit before tax fall to £25.1m in the second half of 2020, a 75 per cent drop from the previous year.

The company felt the strain of Covid-19 as profit before tax also dipped by 78 per cent to £21.1m.

CEO Cox said: “Since the pandemic began, we have helped over 200,000 talented people find their next job and provided advice, guidance and training to millions of others.

“We have prioritised the wellbeing of our own people and temps, and I am proud of the steadfast way all our colleagues have adapted to the changing world, helping their clients and candidates at a time of great need.

“Their resilience, together with the investments we have made across our business, delivered improving profit momentum through the half with overall trading distinctly stronger than we had earlier anticipated.”