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Hays plans special £150m special dividend as Q2 improves

Thu 18 February 2021 07:41 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Recruitment agency Hays said it planned to return £150m to shareholders via a special dividend as it reported improved trading conditions through its second quarter.

The company said it had found surplus capital for the special payout and was encouraged by an acceleration of profits in the second quarter.

"With recovery in fees and our profits accelerating in Q2, this provides us with confidence to resume paying core dividends at our full-year results in August. We have also identified £150m of surplus capital, which we also intend to return to shareholders in phases via special dividends, again commencing at our results in August," said chief executive Alistair Cox.

Pre-tax profits for the six months to December 31 fell 78% to £21.1m as net fees declined 24% to £422.8m.

Net fees in Germany, the company's biggest market, fell 26%, with operating profit down 76% as the pandemic hurt performance.

Hays ended the half with net cash of £379.5m against £366.2m at the end of last June.

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