Record quarter for Hays despite modest UK growth

Recruitment group Hays has reported another record quarterly net fee performance with further strong, broad-based 13% growth in Continental Europe and Rest of World which compensated for modest growth in the UK & Ireland.

It said this was driven by Germany up 15% while 13 other countries grew in excess of 10%.

Asia Pacific net fees were up 14% with another strong performance in Australia, up 15%, and a significant acceleration of growth in Asia, where net fees grew by 18%.

UK & Ireland saw growth of 1%.

The private sector (75% of net fees) grew 4% with continued signs of modest improvement but the public sector remained tough, down 9%.

Chief executive Alistair Cox said: 'We have made a strong start to the new financial year with all divisions growing.

'Continental Europe delivered further strong, broad-based growth, led by a record net fee performance in Germany, our largest business in the world, as we continued to invest in consultant headcount.

'Australia delivered another strong quarter of double-digit growth, which was uniform across all states and specialisms.

'We continued to see modest improvements in our UK private sector business, which returned to growth, although this was largely offset by a tough public sector market.

'Looking ahead, conditions remain good in the vast majority of our International markets.

'In the UK, market conditions remain stable overall.

'Our diverse and balanced global business, together with our highly experienced management teams and our strong balance sheet means we are well positioned to capitalise on the many clear growth opportunities we currently see across the vast majority of our markets, while maximising earnings and cash along the way.'