viewRobert Walters

International strength drove 2016 profit growth for Robert Walters, but UK operations remained resilient despite Brexit

The staffing group saw its pretax profits increase by 26% to £28.1mln in the full-year to December 31, up from £22.4mln in 2015

Recruitment candidates
Robert Walter's revenues rose by 23% to £998.8mln, as it generated 69% of its net fee income outside of the UK

Strength in its International business drove 2016 profit growth for recruitment group Robert Walters PLC (LON:RWA), although its UK operations also remained resilient despite Brexit uncertainties.

The group saw its pretax profits increase by 26% to £28.1mln in the full-year to December 31, up from £22.4mln in 2015, boosted by the weaker pound following June's Brexit vote.

Revenues rose by 23% to £998.8mln, up from £812.7mln in 2015, as it generated 69% of its net fee income outside of the UK.

The firm said the largest contributor to fee income was the Asia Pacific region, while net fee income in the Europe also rose strongly.

However, it added, there was also a resilient performance in the UK where net fee income rose 8% to £86.7mln.

Outsourcing offsets Brexit …

Robert Walters said that although the Brexit referendum result hit candidate and client confidence, its Resource Solutions recruitment outsourcing business provided strong net fee income growth, and activity remained positive in the UK regions.

The group’s chief executive, Robert Walters said: “We grew net fee income across all of the group's regions and opened offices in four new countries; Canada, India, the Philippines and Portugal.”

He added: "Looking ahead, we remain mindful of the unpredictable geopolitical environment, however, the group's global footprint coupled with the range of recruitment services we provide positions us well to maximise opportunities for growth as they arise.”

The firm raised its final dividend by 21% to 6.20p per share, up from 5.13p in 2015, giving a total payout for 2016 of 8.5p, up from 7.08p a year earlier.

In early trading, Robert Walters’s shares were up 3.8%, or 15p at 415p.

Quick facts: Robert Walters

Price: 406 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £308.83 m

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