A slump in Asia's job market and lower recruitment in Australia as mining projects were put on hold sent Hays' pre-tax profit down 6 per cent to £56.7m in the last six months of 2012. In the UK, the recruiter shut five offices between June and December, reducing the total number to 105.
"Although trading conditions in the UK remain challenging, the business has been stable through the half," Hays said. There was still little jobs churn in banking, construction and property jobs. "We saw good growth in several areas including life sciences, human resources and energy, oil and gas, but sentiment … in the UK remains subdued," it added.