Hays posts rise in full-year profits

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RECRUITMENT company Hays said it was on track to double its operating profits by 2018 after posting a 12 per cent rise in full-year pre-tax profit.

The company said pre-tax profit rose to £132.3m from £118.5m a year earlier, in line with analyst expectations, after it saw a significant pick-up in net fee growth in Britain, Asia, Europe and North America.

Hays, which places workers in areas such as finance, construction and IT, also raised its dividend by five per cent to 2.63 pence - for the first time since 2008.

“This is a strong financial performance, and we are ahead of schedule in terms of our aspirations to broadly double the group’s operating profits by 2018,” said chief executive Alistair Cox.

The company, which employs 8,237 people across 33 countries, said it had increased its headcount by six per cent in anticipation of further growth in its key markets. Hays has 16 offices across Yorkshire, including bases in Sheffield and Leeds.