Source - SMW
Hays reports a strong second quarter with net fees up 13% on a like-for-like basis, led by an excellent performance in its International businesses, which now represent 76% of group net fees.

Thew group's business in the UK & Ireland remained stable, up 1%. The private sector business grew modestly at 4%, while public sector markets remained tough and net fees were down 8%.

Hays saw  strong growth of 17% in Continental Europe & Rest of World, with the group's largest business, Germany, up 19% (c.23% adjusted for working days) and France up 14%.

Asia Pacific was up 16%. Growth in Australia was strong, up 14%, and Asia delivered an excellent performance, up 24%.

Chief executive Alistair Cox said: 'We have delivered another strong quarter of broad-based growth with net fees up 13% and 24 of our 33 countries delivering double-digit growth. 

'Performance in Continental Europe was excellent, led by Germany, our largest business, which grew by 19% and where we continued to materially invest in consultant headcount. 

'Australia delivered another strong, market-leading performance and in Asia we delivered excellent growth. In the UK our business remained stable overall.

'Whilst activity levels at the start of the New Year will be an important driver of the Group's second half performance, we continue to see strong trading conditions in the vast majority of our international markets. 

'Our diverse and balanced global business, together with our highly experienced management teams and our strong balance sheet means we are well-positioned to capitalise on the many clear growth opportunities we currently see in most of our markets, while maximising earnings and cash along the way.'