Hays to hand out almost £170m to shareholders as profits leap


ays has revealed plans for an almost £170 million shareholder windfall after the recruitment giant benefited from wage inflation and staff shortages in many industries.

Shares in the company made gains on Thursday morning as bosses hailed an “excellent” performance across its operations.

Hays said it will issue £168 million in dividends for the past financial year and launch a £75 million buyback after profits more than doubled.

It told investors that group operating profits jumped by 128% to £210.1 million for the year to June 30, against the previous year.

This was driven by higher fees, which grew by 30% to £1.19 billion for the year.

Alistair Cox, chief executive of the company, said “acute skills shortages” supported the group’s performance during the year.

He told the PA news agency: “We are a net beneficiary from skills shortages in our markets and wage inflation.

“It has been a very positive period for us but I am not concerned about some of the unemployment signals being highlighted.

“We are at a period of record vacancies so the signs are certainly that demand from our customers will remain very strong.”

Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, said: “White-collar recruiter Hays delivered a blockbuster year as economies came out of Covid paralysis and people took stock of their lives and jobs, fuelling the ‘great resignation’.

“The boom won’t last forever in the face of an increasingly uncertain economic outlook and Hays’ performance will be closely monitored in the coming months to gain an understanding of what’s going on in the real economy.”

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