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Hays raises profit forecast as permanent job sector boosts fees

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Recruitment firm Hays raised its first-half profit forecast as demand in the UK, Australia and Asia led to an 11 per cent rise in fees.

The company’s second quarter results predicted operating profit growth to be three times its net fee growth in the first half of the year, after the affect of currency changes.

The recruiter saw high demand in the permanent sector , with a 16 per cent rise like-for-like basis, excluding currency changes and acquisitions, across its three geographies of Asia Pacific, Europe and UK and Ireland.

The temporary business, which accounted for 58 per cent of fees in the quarter, was up eight per cent across the group.

The UK saw growth of 23 per cent in its permanent sector, suggesting growing optimism from employers.

The country, which accounts for 36 per cent of group fees, saw a 14 per cent overall rise in the second quarter. Asia Pacific and continental Europe were up by 11 and 9 per cent respectively.

Alistair Cox, chief executive of Hays, said: “We have delivered another strong set of quarterly results, driven by an acceleration of Perm growth in each of our three regions.

“Conditions were good in the majority of our markets.”