Source - Alliance News

Hays PLC on Thursday said that it would be making further reductions to its workforce in the near-future, after its interim results revealed a significant decline in profit.

For the six months ended December 31, the London-based recruitment firm delivered £583.3 million in net fees, down 11% from £651.9 million a year prior.

Hays’s first half pretax profit fell dramatically, down 71% to £27.6 million from £94.0 million.

Basic earnings per share before exceptional items were down 42% to 2.37p from 4.11p, while earnings per share were down 81% including exceptional items to 0.77p.

£12.6 million worth of exceptional costs in the period stemmed from restructuring of the company’s management and operations in several regions, Hays said, alongside a £12.6 million payment relating to the partial impairment of the goodwill in its US business.

In response to the impact of challenging market conditions on the company’s performance, Hays said that it had taken ‘decisive cost actions’.

The company has cut its number fee-earning consultants by 7% to 7,971 since June, and 12% since December 2022.

Hays anticipates making further job cuts, and said that total headcount will drop a further 3% to 4% in the third quarter as the company continues its ‘focus on improving productivity and managing our overall cost base’.

Chief Executive Dirk Hahn said: ‘We acted decisively to drive consultant productivity, better align our operations to market conditions and opportunities, and reduce costs. Consequently, we delivered £30 million of annualised savings between August and December and are on track to deliver a further £20 million in the second half.

‘This said, I am not satisfied with our profit performance. Our focused strategy targets the many structural growth opportunities we see, while driving profitability through increased resilience, operational rigour and enhanced execution.’

Shares in Hays were up 0.4% at 96.00 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

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