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Recruiter Hays profit sinks as fees slide, Germany weighs

Feb 20 (Reuters) - Recruiter Hays operating profit fell 19% on a reported basis in the first half, in line with guidance from the company a month ago as low business confidence and a struggling euro zone economy dented hiring in Germany.

The company, which operates in 33 countries, said on Thursday operating profit fell to 100.1 million pounds for the six months to December 31, from 124.1 million pounds a year earlier.

The company had warned in January that first-half 2020 operating profit would be about 100 million pounds ($130.36 million).

It said strikes in France, bushfires in Australia and the UK General Election had significantly impacted trading in December and that it had seen a "marginally slower" start to 2020 than previous years. (Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)