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Seek raises profit forecast, hiring climbs

·1-min read

Jobs directory Seek has raised its profit forecast as small to medium businesses across Australia and New Zealand hire more workers than expected.

The company on Tuesday raised its full-year forecast for net profit from $100 million to $140 million, and promised a special dividend.

Chief executive Andrew Bassat said Seek was capitalising on improving economic conditions in Australia and New Zealand, and Asia.

Small to medium businesses were hiring at record levels, he said.

Indicators have shown Australia's economy performing better than expected.

On Monday the ANZ job advertisement series - a pointer to future employment - showed ads rose for an 11th straight month in April, up by a solid 4.7 per cent.

It means that job ads are 27.8 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The unemployment rate has declined steadily and fell to 5.6 per cent for March.

Meanwhile, Seek shareholders will receive a special dividend of 20 cents per share from the sale of a stake in a Chinese business.

Seek received $500 million in April as part of selling its stake in jobs provider Zhaopin.

The $697 million sale will reduce Seek's stake from 61.1 per cent to 23.5 per cent.

Mr Bassat said the dividend showed Seek's confidence in its outlook.

He said the business would still have flexibility for more dividends.

Shareholders will receive the special payout on May 24.

Shares were higher by 3.35 per cent to $31.76 at 1326 AEST.