Hays has published its quarterly update for the three months ended 30th September 2015, confirming good growth in all of its regions. It reported good Group growth of 8%, with consistency of performance as both perm and temp both grew 8%. There was solid growth in the UK & Ireland against more challenging comparators. Major specialisms of Construction & Property, Education and IT each grew by over 10%. There was strong broad-based growth in ‘Continental Europe & Rest of World’, growth accelerated to 10% in Germany and 14% in the rest of the division, with notable strength in Europe. There was good growth in Asia Pacific, including 5% growth in Australia & New Zealand, where Perm was up 13% and Asia delivered further strong growth of 11%.
Group consultant headcount was up 9% year-on-year and 5% during the quarter, driven by seasonal increases in September. As a result, increases in Q2 will be selective and minimal overall.
Net debt ended Q1 at c.£70m due to the phasing of material cash flows and the unwind of a c.£20m benefit due to the timing of the year end date. Hays stated it remaina confident of eliminating net debt by its year end.