Hays stays in profit but says material recovery needs net fees to rise

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Hays PLC (LON:HAS) said it expects trading in the first half of 2021 to be “modestly profitable”.

The recruiter added that any material recovery in profitability in the second half of the year will require a significant sequential uplift in net fees, and there being no prolonged lockdowns in its key markets.

READ: Hays drops dividend as recruitment markets remain tough

In the first quarter, ended September 30, total net fees slowed down by 29%, with temporary work down 25% and permanent down 35%.

Australia & New Zealand and Rest of World were the most defensive regions, dropping by 26% and 27% respectively, while Germany and UK & Ireland tumbled by 31% and 34%.

Net cash at period-end was GBP350mln.

Shares dipped 2% to 112.9p on Thursday morning.

–Adds shares–

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