Hays Plc has posted a rise of 10 percent in its net fee for the third quarter and growth of 18 percent in international business, which accounts for 70 percent of total net fees.
Shares of the global professional recruitment group shot up as much as 9.11 percent at 0921 AM BST on LSE, but it reported a growth fall of 5 percent in the U.K. & Ireland, with private sector declining 6 percent due to slowing activity in its Banking and city-related specialisms. Public sector net fees declined 2 percent.
Jefferies assigns 'Buy' rating on the stock and raises price target to 120p from 110p as Hays makes an advocating start to its second half despite decreasing activity in Banking.
The recruitment firm expects full year operating profit to be at the top of current range of market estimates based on its current view on outlook.
Hays growth in net fees by segment in the temporary placement business, which accounts for 56 percent of the group's net fees, saw strong growth of 14 percent. In permanent placement business it saw a solid rise of 5 percent, despite continued uncertainty about the global macro-economic environment impacting confidence amongst the group's candidates and clients, notably in its banking related specialisms around the world.
"Looking ahead, many parts of the group continue to grow, but ongoing uncertainty about the global economic outlook means that our markets around the world remain complex and far from uniform. Against this backdrop, we will continue to invest selectively in growth areas whilst at the same time reacting to changing conditions in each of our countries and specialisms to maximise fees and profitability. Our unrivalled global footprint, sectoral diversification and market leadership in so many countries positions us well to capitalise on today's complex markets as well as the long-term opportunities for growth which remain undiminished." Alistair Cox, CEO said, commenting on the results.
Last week rival recruiter Robert Walters said it had made a strong start to 2012 as first-quarter net fees grew 12 percent. On Wednesday Michael Page repeated similar caution, posting a 7 percent rise in its first-quarter gross profit by saying that it could see no end to a hiring freeze in the banking sector which has weighed heavily on some markets.