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Hays weighed down by Asia and Australia

Recruitment company Hays revealed a decline in quarterly net fees, amid challenging market conditions, and expects conditions to remain fragile.

Recruitment company Hays revealed a decline in quarterly net fees, amid challenging market conditions, and expects conditions to remain fragile.

Total net fees for the quarter ended March 31st 2013 fell 3%. Net fees in the temporary business, which accounted for 59% of group net fees, increased 1% year-on-year and the underlying temporary placement margin was stable. Net fees in the permanent business fell by 8%.

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Across its regions, Asia Pacific fell 15% while in Australia & New Zealand net fees decreased by 18%. Continental Europe & Rest of World rose 5% and UK & Ireland was unchanged.

Hays said permanent markets remain fragile but temp fees have remained resilient with an encouraging return to work across key markets.

The group expects full-year operating profit to be at the top of the current range of market estimates.

Commenting on the performance, Chief Executive Alistair Cox said: "We have delivered a resilient performance against an economic backdrop that continues to be mixed and fragile overall. The start to the second half in our key Temp and Contractor markets has been encouraging and although many Perm markets remain challenging, they are broadly stable."

"Our proven ability to react quickly to the world as it changes, investing in stronger markets while keeping firm control on costs around the group, continues to yield benefit in terms of our financial performance."

"Looking ahead, we expect conditions to remain fragile but mixed. Although several markets are likely to remain challenging, these sit alongside clear opportunities for growth."

CJ

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