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Group NFI down 11% in Q1 2020 for Robert Walters

Robert Walters has released its results for the first quarter ended 31st March 2020.

The company reported that first quarter net fee income was impacted by COVID-19, but expects the second quarter to be more challenging. Group net fee income was £87.4m in Q1 2020, down 11% on net fee income of £98.6m in Q1 2019.

In Asia Pacific, net fee income was down 5% from £36.4m to £34.5m. Europe’s net fee income decreased by 3% to £25.4m in Q1 2020, from £26.2m in the previous year. The UK saw net fee income decrease by 29% in the first quarter of 2020 to £19.7m, compared to £27.7m in Q1 2019. Other international net fee income was down 6% to £7.8m from £8.3m in Q1 2019.

Robert Walters, chief executive, commented, "First and foremost, I would like to publicly thank all of the Group's employees across the globe for the incredible resilience and unity of purpose they have shown in the face of the events experienced during the quarter. Our previous investment in technology, particularly in tablets for all consultants globally, has ensured the transition to home-working has been seamless without adversely disrupting service levels to clients and candidates or internal working practices and communications.

"Trading for the first quarter was negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. With Europe and the Americas recently following much of the Asia Pacific region into varying stages of lockdown, we are expecting the second quarter to be more challenging. The picture across the globe is changing hour to hour and day to day, so it would be imprudent to attempt to give accurate forward guidance on expected full year trading at this stage.

"The Group has a strong balance sheet, strong cash position and an experienced management team who have navigated the business through various international crises over our 35-year history. I am confident that we will emerge from this period of uncertainty very well placed to benefit from operational gearing to quickly take advantage of the inevitable market opportunities."

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