Recruiter Hays quarterly net fees revenue rose 3% in Ireland

Rise comes despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty

Recruiter Hays reported a 3 per cent rise in fee revenue in Ireland and Britain in the third quarter, despite uncertainties from the UK's vote to leave the European Union.

Hays, which places workers in areas such as finance and construction, said net fees from Germany - its largest market - rose 5 per cent for the three months ended March 31st.

The company said comparable net fees rose 5 per cent in the third quarter, helped by more hiring in its international and domestic markets.

It reported flat growth in net fees from its Australia and New Zealand business. Analysts had been concerned by the recruiter’s performance in the island continent after data from Australia’s online job portal SEEK showed that SEEK job ads fell 3.6 per cent in February compared with a 0.6 per cent rise in January.

“Although ANZ was in line with our more conservative estimates, momentum in Germany slowed as clients paused decision making during a period of economic and political uncertainty,” Jefferies said in a note.

The specialist recruiter, however, said it was mindful of macroeconomic conditions, but its outlook was positive across most of its markets.

In the UK, employers scaled up their hiring at the fastest pace in over three years in the three months to January, official data showed, as the nation’s robust labour market defied the broader weakness in the overall economy.

Rival Robert Walters on Monday reported higher first-quarter profit and said confidence among businesses in Britain was reasonable despite Brexit uncertainty, while PageGroup Plc said last week that the “gilets jaunes” protests in France had hurt candidate confidence. – Reuters