FINANCIALS: Hays reports fall in UK & Ireland NFI

Recruitment giant Hays has seen UK & Ireland net fee income (NFI) fall 5% year-on-year, with NFI down 9% in London, according to a trading update for the quarter ended 30 June 2017.

The update, published this morning, revealed the group’s UK & Ireland private sector business, which represents 77% of UK & Ireland NFI, saw NFI fall 1% indicating “continued signs of modest improvement”, while its UK & Ireland public sector business posted a 17% decline in NFI on the same period last year. 

However, across the group, NFI grew 7% year-on-year, with Asia-Pacific and Continental Europe & Rest of the World posting 11% increases in NFI over the period.

Commenting on the group's performance over the quarter CEO Alistair Cox said the group had closed its financial year with a record quarterly net fee performance, adding it anticipates 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.”

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