Belfast Telegraph

Profits up at Robert Walters despite slowdown in financial services hiring

Recruitment firm Robert Walters has reported rising full-year profits, despite a slowdown in financial services hiring following the EU referendum.

The company said pre-tax profits rose 16% to £28.1 million in the year to December 31 as it reaped the benefits of international expansion.

In the UK, net fee income rose 8% to £86.7 million, helped by the performance of commerce finance and the group's regional recruitment businesses in Manchester, Milton Keynes and St Albans, which benefited from a focus on SMEs.

But Robert Walters added that last June's vote saw candidate and client confidence levels "negatively impacted and activity levels, particularly in financial services in London, declined".

UK operating profit grew 4% to £6.4 million.

Group revenue rose 15% to £998.5 million as Robert Walters was buoyed by expansion into four new territories - Canada, India, the Philippines and Portugal.

A total of 69% of its net fee income is generated outside of the UK.

In Europe, net fee income was up 15% to £60.1 million and operating profit up 19% to £4.2 million on a constant currency basis.

Chief executive Robert Walters said: "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."

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