• SYDNEY, AAP – 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 earnings from $460 million to $480 million.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.

    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.

    A number of indicators have shown the economy performing better than expected.

    The unemployment rate fell to 5.6 per cent for March.

    Meanwhile, Seek shareholders will receive a final dividend of 20 cents per share.

    The company received $500 million in April for part of its stake in Chinese jobs provider Zhaopin.

    Seek reduced its stake from 61.1 per cent to 23.5 per cent.

    Shares were higher by 3.84 per cent to $31.91 at 1150 AEST.