April 13 (Reuters) - Recruitment agency Hays Plc on
Tuesday forecast annual profit ahead of market expectations
after a strong pick up in hiring activity in March in Germany,
Australia, UK and Asia.
Staffing firms around the world have struggled with a sharp
drop in fees, which led some of them to downsize their own
workforce, as most sectors held back on new hires due to the
global health crisis.
But a ramp-up in vaccination programmes and re-opening of
economies have encouraged many companies to resume recruiting.
Rival PageGroup said last week a hiring surge in
March has given it confidence on its financial outlook for the
Hays, which operates in 33 countries, said it expects
operating profit for 2021 to be at least 85 million pounds
($116.82 million) compared with 135 million pounds in 2020.
The company said net fees in the third quarter ended March
31 fell 10%, which was lower than consensus estimates.
Hays CEO Alistair Cox said there clearly were skill
shortages in certain industries, specifically Technology and
"We are confident we will continue to take further market
share as clients and candidates look for our expert recruitment
guidance, both during and after COVID," he added.
While the company's consultant headcount fell 12% over the
prior year, it expects to increase hiring by a further 2%-4% in
the fourth quarter.
($1 = 0.7276 pounds)
(Reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh and Yadarisa Shabong in
Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)