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Recruiters recovery: Record results for NES & Robert Walters reinstates dividend

Following the merger of NES Global Talent (NES) with the Fircroft Group, international recruiter NES has announced record results (as a single entity) for the year ending October 31 2019, with an EBITDA of $90.0 million (£70.7 million), a 56% increase on 2018.


Turnover increased substantially from $1.1 billion (£0.8 billion) to $1.7 billion (£1.3 billion) with net fee income at $204.5 million (£160.7 million).


Fiscal 2019 also saw NES further strengthen its balance sheet with a strong cash performance, generating $23.8m of operating cash. Cash performance, coupled with the group’s flexible financing structure, put NES Global Talent in a strong competitive position, enabling the company to complete the transaction to combine with Fircroft on September 20 this year.



In their fiscal 2019 (ended August), Fircroft supported some 7,500 contractors and posted Net Fee Income at $54.5 million (£42.8 million) as a stand-alone business.


NES Fircroft delivers skilled engineering and technical talent through its contract and permanent placement services as well as through its managed solutions capabilities. The diversified customer base includes leading companies in the oil and gas, power and renewables, life sciences, chemicals and mining industries.



NES Fircroft is led by Tig Gilliam (CEO), alongside Simon Coton (COO), Stephen Buckley (CFO) and Johnathan Johnson (executive director). Johnson also joins with the current NES Board Members to make up the new NES Fircroft Board.


UK global recruiter Robert Walters also reported some encouraging results, announcing the reinstatement of an interim dividend on the back of a resilient third quarter performance.



Net fee income increased quarter-on-quarter to £72.8 million, though this was 31% down on the third quarter 2019, and the group finished September with net cash of £138.9 million, up from £81.6 million in September 2019. The group also has a £60 million committed loan facility due for renewal in 2023. Staff numbers have been reduced to 3,240, down from 4,258 in September 2019.



An interim dividend of 4.5p per share (2019: 4.5p) will be paid on November 6 to those shareholders on the company register as at October 16.



Robert Walters, chief executive, comments: “The volatile nature of the pandemic does mean visibility is limited, however with some key forward-looking indicators either stabilising or showing signs of improvement, we believe now is the right time to end the voluntary reduced working hours scheme for all employees globally and to reinstate the interim dividend.



“I remain confident that the group will emerge from this Covid-impacted period stronger than ever with increased market share and a platform to deliver accelerated growth through operational gearing. Current trading is in line with market consensus for the full year." Robert Walters will publish a fourth quarter trading update on January 12.



Mixed fortunes in Japan



Meanwhile, four of Japan’s listed recruitment businesses have announced their results with two very different outcomes. Both Creek & River and Careerlink were able to announce positive gains, whilst DIP Corporation and Careerbank have seen their results go south.



Creek & River president and representative director Yukihiro Ikawa announced that sales were up 11.8% to ¥18,454 million, and profits were up 22.1% to ¥966 million.  Sales turnover at Careerlink was even better, rising by 34.4% to ¥13,962 million. President Motoaki Narusawa announced profits were up an eye-watering 268% to ¥934 million.



On the flip side, DIP Corporation executive president and CEO Hideki Tomita announced sales were down almost 30% at ¥16,075 million, with profits 44% down at ¥2,759 million. Careerbank also went backwards, with sales down 6.3% at ¥1,297million and a loss of ¥27 million recorded.


Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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