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Trading statements

Hays operating profits to be marginally ahead of forecasts

14 July 2017 07:17

Recruitment group Hays saw continued growth in net fees for the quarter ended 30 June and it expects full year operating profits to be marginally ahead of market forecasts.

Group net fees in its fourth quarter increased 15% on a headline basis and 7% on a like-for-like basis against the prior year- the group's 17th consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth.

It said the difference between headline and like-for-like growth was primarily the result of the significant appreciation of the euro and the Australian dollar against sterling.

It said full-year operating profit was expected to be marginally ahead of current consensus market expectations, which it understood to be £209.5 million.

Chief executive Alistair Cox said: "We have ended our financial year with a record quarterly net fee performance and expect full year operating profit to be marginally ahead of the current market expectations.

"Additionally, the excellent cash position we have delivered enables the Board to consider increasing shareholder returns in line with our dividend policy.

"Our International businesses continued to be the key drivers of growth. Europe delivered strong results, led by an excellent performance in Germany, where we have increased consultant headcount by over 20% during the year.

"Growth in Australia remained strong and was broad-based across all states and specialisms.

"The underlying trends in the UK remained sequentially stable, with modest improvements in the private sector 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.

"The scale, balance and diversity of the business we have built is unrivalled in our industry and our focus remains to deliver sector-leading profits and strong cash generation.

"These strengths, combined with a strong balance sheet and our world-class, highly experienced teams around the world, stand us in good stead and mean we continue to look to the future with confidence."

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