Hays PLC (LSE:HAS), the recruitment firm, said it has seen quarter-on-quarter growth in all geographical regions in the first quarter of its fiscal year.

Net fees in the three months to the end of September were up 36%, or 41% on a like-for-like basis, on the previous year.

The UK & Ireland saw the strongest growth, with fees up 44% (LFL: 45%). Australia & New Zealand was up 29% (LFL: 34%); Germany was 31% (39%) higher and the rest of the world saw a 37% (41%) increase.

Fees from placing temporary staff were up 22% (LFL: 26%) on a year earlier while fees from placing permanent staff rose 58% (65%).

The group ended the quarter with net cash of around GBP360mln, in line with expectations and up from roughly GBP350mln a year earlier although it was down from GBP410.6mln at the beginning of the quarter.

“12 countries produced record net fees, including the USA and China, and our global Hays Technology business also hit record fees. Despite lockdowns, ANZ fees were stable throughout the quarter and sequentially increased versus Q4 FY21 [fiscal 2021]. In Continental Europe, activity levels remained high, with less of a seasonal summer slowdown than normal, and our largest market of Germany ended the period with a record number of contractors. The UK&I and Asia continued to perform strongly, while the Americas delivered our highest overall fee growth,” said Alistair Cox, the chief executive officer of Hays.

“Consultant productivity remains at record levels, despite our significant headcount investment. Our strategic growth Initiatives are performing well as we accelerate the pursuit of the many structural growth opportunities we see. Client and candidate confidence is high and there are clear signs of skill shortages and wage inflation, particularly at higher salary levels. Our strong brand and management teams globally, plus our financial strength, give me confidence that we will take further market share as the economic recovery continues,” he added.

Shares in Hays were up 2.8% at 166.8p in early deals.

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