- Recruitment consultant Hays reported flat net fees growth in the fiscal fourth quarter as a challenging macroeconomic backdrop in Germany weighed on hiring activity.

For the three months ended 30 June, group net fees were flat, with underlying growth of about 1%, adjusted for the timing of Easter, against a tough growth comparative.

Net fees in both perm and temp sectors were flat year-on-year and group consultant headcount was down 2% in the quarter, and up 4% year-on-year.

Germany, the company's biggest market, generate net fees of 2% as the economic slowdown weighed. In the UK, more subdued private-sector hiring activity also hurt performance.

IN the UK & Ireland, net fees were down 2% in the quarter, with both temp and perm down 2%. The Public sector saw net fees increase 7%, but the private sector was tougher and fell by 6%, the company said.

'We delivered a solid end to our financial year with underlying fees up 1%(1) and strong cash generation, despite tough comparatives, more mixed macroeconomic conditions and some signs of reduced business confidence,' Alistair Cox, Chief Executive.

'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 recruiter said it expected full-year performance to meet expectations.

'Full-year operating profit expected to be in line with current consensus market expectations, which we understand to be £248m,' Hays said.

At 8:01am: [LON:HAS] Hays PLC share price was -0.7p at 150.8p

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