Manufacturing companies in Britain have started to fill permanent jobs put on hold after the Brexit vote, recruitment company Hays (HAYS.L) said on Thursday, forecasting improved trading in its home market.
Hays, Britain's largest recruitment company, also forecast operating profit for the year to the end of June would be at the top of a market consensus range of 199-209 million pounds.
Its shares were marginally down after having gained 6.6 percent in the past two days following strong quarterly updates from fellow recruiters Robert Walters (RWA.L) and PageGroup (PAGE.L).
While smaller recruiter Robert Walters (RWA.L) said on Tuesday that London banks were hiring more staff, Hays echoed rival PageGroup's sentiment that there had been no meaningful recovery as uncertainty lingers about trading arrangements once Britain leaves the European Union.
"The banking market is in a better place than it was in a year ago, but it is still pretty subdued," Finance Director Paul Venables told Reuters.
However, he said the hiring market for manufacturing jobs was healthier, with demand strong from large international companies in regions outside of London.
"That's a real positive for the next year or two... The market is in a much better place than it was 9 months ago," Venables said.
Better domestic performance, along with record growth in Germany and acceleration in hiring in Asia Pacific helped Hays to report a record group net fees increase of 10 percent at constant currency in three months to the end of March, ahead of market consensus of a 6 percent rise.
Hays' net fees for UK and Ireland, which represent just over a quarter of group net fees, were down 4 percent at constant currency in the quarter but that represented an improvement from a 10 percent fall noted in the preceding two quarters.
All three major British recruitment companies have now recaptured the ground lost in the immediate aftermath of the referendum vote last June.
"Now (the recruiters) trade at 12-month highs the bar of expectations is much higher and they will need to keep showing improved fee income growth abroad and in the UK to keep their shares on the march," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
(Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely/Keith Weir)