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UK NFI up 2% in Q4 2018 for Robert Walters

Robert Walters has released a trading update for the fourth quarter ended 31st December 2018.

Group net fee income of £102.3m (Q4 2017: £90.5m) was up 13% (13% actual) year-on-year with Asia Pacific and Europe delivering the strongest rates of growth. These two regions now represent 66% of global net fee income.

Investment in expanding the Group's global footprint has continued with entry into Chile and the Czech Republic.

Asia Pacific net fee income was up 19% to £40.0m (19% actual). Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Mainland China delivered the strongest growth, all increasing net fee income in excess of 25%. There was also a strong performance across Australia with net fee income increasing by 13%; the highest rate of growth for two years.

Europe net fee income rose to £27.6m (Q4 2017: £22.6m), in increase of 22% (22% actual). Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands all increased net fee income in excess of 25%. There were also record performances delivered in Belgium and France.

UK net fee was income up 2% to £26.8m (Q4 2017: 26.2m). Recruitment activity levels remained highest across the UK regions. In London, growth was strongest in technology and financial services.

Other International (North and South America, the Middle East and South Africa) net fee income was down 5% (2% down actual) to £7.9m (Q4 2017: £8.1m)

The company reported a strong balance sheet with net cash of £74.1m as at 31st December 2018 (31st December 2017: £31.1m).

Robert Walters (pictured), chief executive, commented, "The Group delivered another strong set of quarterly results, increasing net fee income by 13% year-on-year. Our Asia Pacific and European businesses delivered standout performances with these regions now accounting for 66% of global net fee income.

"Net fee income for the full year is up 15% and profit for the year is expected to be comfortably in line with market expectations."

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