(Reuters) -British recruitment agency Hays Plc’s raised its annual operating profit forecast on Thursday, after reporting a higher half-year profit buoyed by rising talent demand as companies rush to fill up vacancies.

The British company, which hires staff in several specialist sectors including technology, accounting and finance and life science, expects the operating profit for full-year to be between 210 million pounds to 215 million pounds ($283.1-$289.8 million), up from 200 million pounds it forecast in January.

Hays said pre-tax profit soared to 97.7 million pounds ($131.8 million) for the six months ended Dec. 31, from 21.1 million pounds a year earlier on strong hiring in Germany and the UK, with higher demand from technology and Life Sciences sectors. It also rose 2.2% from pre-pandemic levels.

“Performance in all regions was excellent, and our actions to capitalise on strong market conditions helped drive record half-year Group fees, including 21 country records, and the highest profit growth in our history,” Chief Executive Officer Alistair Cox said in a statement.

Recruiters across the globe are hurrying to fill up vacancies, as COVID-19-related restrictions ease and companies bring back employees to work from office. Last year, hiring firms struggled with a sharp drop in fees, which led some of them to down size their workforce.

The company, which is largely focused on hiring for white-collar roles, added that its group finance director Paul Venables has decided to retire on Sept. 30 and James Hilton, an insider, will takeover the role.

($1 = 0.7415 pounds)

(Reporting by Amna Karimi in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)