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UK NFI down 8% YoY in Q2 2019 for Robert Walters

Robert Walters has released its results for the second quarter of 2019, ended 30th June 2019.

The group reported a solid second quarter performance with group net fee income up 5% (7% actual) year-on-year to £106.4m. 76% (2018: 73%) of the group's net fee income now derived from overseas businesses.  

There was continued investment in growing the company’s international footprint with a first office opened in Mexico (Mexico City) and a fourth office opened in the Netherlands (Utrecht).

Asia Pacific net fee income up 7% to £44.2m (9% actual). In Asia, there was a record performance in Japan. Emerging markets continue to perform well. Hong Kong was impacted by recent political unrest. There were also encouraging signs of momentum in Singapore and Malaysia. Single digit growth was reported in Australia and a record performance in New Zealand.

In Europe, net fee income was £27.7m, up 13% (13% actual). A blend of permanent, contract and interim recruitment revenue streams continues to be a key strength. There was good growth across the region with France, Germany, Netherlands and Portugal all growing in excess of 15% year-on-year. The company reported an encouraging bounce-back in France, the group's largest business in the region, following the impact of the gilets jaunes demonstrations during the first quarter.

In the UK, net fee income was down 8% to £25.2m. Client and candidate confidence was weaker during the quarter as a result of UK political turmoil, with tough year-on-year comparatives. The UK has delivered positive net fee income growth for the first half with pockets of buoyancy across financial services, technology and the regions.

Other International (the Americas, Middle East and South Africa) net fee income was up 18% (23% actual) to £9.2m with North America delivering a strong performance.  

The company reported a strong balance sheet with net cash of £53.2m as at 30th June 2019 (30th June 2018: £22.9m).

Robert Walters, chief executive, commented, "The Group produced a solid performance with net fee income for the second quarter up 5% (7% actual) year-on-year. Net fee income for the first half was up 8% (9% actual).

"Our international businesses have continued to perform well and now represent 76% of Group net fee income. The UK has been impacted by Brexit-related uncertainty, however the Group's diverse geographic footprint and blend of revenue streams ensures we are well positioned for the future.

"Current trading remains in line with market expectations for the full year."

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