FINANCIALS: Hays looks to raise equity to reinforce business

Hays has announced plans to raise £200m in equity as the recruitment giant contends with the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released this morning, the recruitment giant revealed it was seeking to raise the equity to ensure it has a strong balance sheet and can continue with minimal or no debt once markets stabilise.

While trading between 1 January and 13 March 2020 was in line with expectations, with like-for-like net fees down 5% year-on-year, the group adds the pandemic had driven a “very material deceleration” in client and candidate activity with the impact felt most in Europe, and least in Australia. 

The group’s own modelling has predicted an immediate decline in net fees of 70% on the previous year during lockdown, ahead of a gradual reduction of net fees of a decline of 35% year-on-year by the end of 2020. In this scenario, the group adds it could reduce costs by up to £20m a month by December 2020.

Hays’ CEO Alistair Cox said: “The past few weeks have been unlike anything the world has seen in modern times and has severely impacted recruitment markets globally. These are hugely challenging times and I would like to thank sincerely all our colleagues at Hays for their support and commitment. Governments across the world also deserve major credit for the scale and speed of their response to support individuals and businesses through the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Today's equity fundraise is designed to further reinforce our business so that we are strongly placed to build on our market-leading positions globally by supporting our clients and capturing additional marketshare.”

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