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APAC and continental Europe deliver strong H1 2016 results for Robert Walters

Robert Walters has today announced its half-yearly financial results for the six months ended 30th June 2016, confirming UK net fee income is up 4% to £40.2m and stating performance had been weaker against an uncertain political and economic backdrop.

In H1 2015 UK net fee income was £38.7m, producing an operating profit of £1.8m, compared to £2.8m in H1 2015.

Europe net fee income is up 27% (19%*) to £28.2m (£26.5m*), compared to £22.3m in 2015 and operating profit more than doubled to £2.1m (£1.8m*), compared to £1.0m in H1 2015.

The Group said growth has been strongest in Asia Pacific and Continental European, which together now account for 64% of the Group’s net fee income. 

Asia Pacific net fee income is up 15% (10%*) to £54.0m (£51.5m*) from £47.0m in 2015 and operating profit is up 35% (16%*) to £6.4m (£5.5m*) from £4.7m in H1 2015.

The Group said that Japan, its largest business in Asia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand all delivered record performances and there were solid performances from businesses in Hong Kong, mainland China and Singapore.  The Group opened its first office in Philippines during the period.

It stated Australia produced the strongest growth rates it has seen for four years.

The Group reported an excellent performance in France and Benelux across both permanent and contract recruitment. It added that Spain and Switzerland continue to grow.

The Group said there has been significant investment in Resource Solutions to implement two major client wins.

In Brief
Group headcount of 2,902 (30 June 2015: 2,728).
Interim dividend increased by 18% to 2.30p per share (30 June 2015: 1.95p).
Group funded the purchase of 4.2m shares by the Employee Benefit Trust for £13.5m at an average price of £3.17 during the period.
A further 1.9m shares have been purchased for £5.3m at an average price of £2.75 since the period end.
Strong balance sheet with net cash of £10.2m as at 30 June 2016 (30 June 2015: £14.6m). 

Robert Walters, chief executive, said, “The Group achieved a 9% increase in net fee income in constant currency, with growth rates strongest in our Asia Pacific and Continental European regions. Profits in the first half were impacted by weakness in the UK due to uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum and significant investment in Resource Solutions to support two new and large scale client wins. Both engagements will be profitable in the second half. 

“The results highlight the strength of our global, diversified business with our blend of revenue streams covering permanent, contract, interim and recruitment process outsourcing and a geographic footprint spanning 25 countries including many of the world’s fastest growing and emerging recruitment markets. Current trading is in line with market expectations for the full year.” 

  • *Constant currency

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