Battered recruiter Hays just manages to stay in the black

Recruitment agency Hays expects to squeeze out a 'modest' profit for the first half of 2020

Recruitment agency Hays expects to squeeze out a 'modest' profit for the first half of 2020

Recruitment agency Hays expects to squeeze out a ‘modest’ profit for the first half of 2020

Hays expects to squeeze out a ‘modest’ profit for the first half of the year as the Covid-driven downturn in hiring slashed fee income by nearly a third.

The recruitment agency, which made £100million last year, said any material recovery in profitability in the second half of the year will require a significant ‘sequential uplift’ in net fees, and no prolonged second wave of lockdowns.

‘Temporary business remains stable and we have seen improvements in permanent, particularly in markets that had previously been hardest-hit by lockdowns,’ chief executive Alistair Cox said.

Most global recruiters have been hit by a hiring slowdown since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing them to manage costs to withstand the blow.

Rivals Page Group and Robert Walters, however, have flagged early signs of recovery in its Asia Pacific, mainland China and Japan regions, which were among the first to come out of lockdown.

Hays said group fees fell 29 per cent for the quarter ending September 30 from a year earlier.

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