FINANCIALS: Hays bursts £1bn barrier

Recruitment giant Hays has burst through the £1bn barrier with net fee income up 12% year-on-year boosted by strong growth in Continental Europe, the US and China, according to preliminary results for the year ended 30 June 2018.

The results, released this morning, reveal overall NFI of £1.8bn up from £954.6m, with operating profit up from £211.5m to £243.4m.

Across its regions of operation, Germany saw NFI increase 16% year-on-year, the group’s Rest of World segment saw NFI increase 17% with strong performances in France, the US, Belgium and China, while NFI also rose 2% in the UK & Ireland. 

Within this region, the South-West & Wales saw NFI increase 8%, while NFI also rose 7% in Northern Ireland and 16% South of the border. Office support was the standout specialism, with NFI rising 7% on the previous year. The group’s public sector operations in the UK & Ireland encountered tough trading conditions due in part to the adverse impact of IR35 changes in the public sector.

Commenting on the group’s performance, CEO Alistair Cox pointed to a “landmark” year for the group in which it passed £1bn in net fees for the first time and 22 countries within its operations delivered all-time records. 

“Our RoW business was the standout performer with excellent profit growth of 51%, despite significant investment. We further strengthened our leading positions in key markets like Australia and Germany, and our UK business delivered a good profit performance, despite macro uncertainty. Overall cash generation was excellent, enabling the Board to propose increasing the full year core dividend by 18% and propose the group's second special dividend, of £72.9m.”

Looking ahead, Cox said conditions remain positive in virtually all of the group’s markets. 

“We are investing significantly in key growth markets where we see structural and marketshare opportunities, notably Germany, France and the US. We continue to build on our scale and diversity, and are focused on driving profitable, cash-generative growth. The sheer scale and diversity of our global platform combined with our highly experienced management teams means we are well-positioned to capitalise on the growth opportunities identified in our 2022 plan.”

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