Recruiter Hays upgrades its profit forecast as international jobs market grows

The last three months showed positive growth for Hays' UK division

Hays was the FTSE’s top riser on Friday morning last week with its shares trading 6.8pc higher at 204.2p on the back of strong fourth-quarter results.

The company’s net fees rose 15pc year-on-year thanks to solid growth in international markets including Germany and Australia.

Booming international growth means that Hays’ management now anticipates full-year operating profit to be marginally ahead of current market expectations of £241m.

Although the UK is still in a fog of economic uncertainty, the region grew a modest 4pc on an underlying basis. The increase has been driven by more hiring in public sector and IT jobs said Paul Venables, the company’s finance director.

Hays, which places workers across sectors from finance to construction, said it would continue to invest significantly in France, Germany and the United States, as part of a five-year plan to double its operating profit.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “For all the talk of global growth slowing down, a fourth quarter trading update from international recruitment consultant Hays would suggest the world’s cogs are still turning at good pace.”

The UK’s three major recruiters, Page Group, Hays and Robert Walters, have all reported positive quarterly results last week, suggesting that even if British employers have slowed down on hiring decisions, the international market is still growing.

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