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The price of shares in FTSE 250 recruitment specialist Hays (LON:HAS) dropped by 2.38% to 147.90p (as of 13:05 BST) after it posted flat net fee growth figures for the final quarter of its financial year. The company said it faced tough comparatives from the prior year as well as difficult market conditions in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia.
CEO Alistair Cox commented: “We delivered a solid end to our financial year with underlying fees up 1% and strong cash generation, despite tough comparatives, more mixed macroeconomic conditions and some signs of reduced business confidence. Asia performed strongly, up 10%, although Australia slowed in the run-up to its General Election. Europe saw mixed conditions, although our largest market of Germany delivered solid underlying growth, and Southern Europe performed well. The UK was understandably more subdued, particularly in the Private sector.
“Looking ahead, we are mindful of economic and political uncertainties and will continue to focus on driving consultant productivity, while making selective investments in our key markets to reinforce our market leadership. Our strong financial position means we have an excellent platform to balance short-term performance with our long-term strategic goals, allowing us to invest to capitalise on numerous opportunities in the changing world of work“.