Recruiter Robert Walters bolsters profits in ‘strong’ first quarter
The group booked a 17% jump in net fee income to £88.5 million in first three months of 2018
Recruitment firm Robert Walters has booked a double-digit rise in profits, bolstered by strong growth in Europe and rising activity outside London.
The group saw net fee income – gross profits – jump 17% to £88.5 million in the first quarter of 2018, as the European arm expanded by nearly a third.
Germany, Spain and Holland all grew by more than 35%, underpinning a 32% rise in net fee income to £24.2 million across Europe as a whole.
The UK showed resilience in the face of Brexit uncertainty – up 6% to £25.2 million – with Manchester, Milton Keynes and St Albans branded “standout performers” for recruitment activity.
However, it marked a slowdown in growth compared with the final quarter of 2017 when net fee income pushed 13% higher to £26.2 million.
The update comes after the latest official figures showed Britain’s jobs market was continuing to defy expectations of a Brexit-induced slowdown.
Employment increased by 168,000 in the quarter to January to a record 32.2 million, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics last month.
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Focusing on London, Robert Walters said legal and commerce finance recruitment were “hotspots for growth” in the capital.
In Asia, lacklustre activity in Singapore was offset by a strong expansion across Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines.
Net fee income for Asia Pacific was up 11% at £32.6 million for the first three months of the year.
Meanwhile, a strong start to 2018 from the United States, coupled with robust growth in Brazil and South Africa, helped other international income climb 54% to £6.5 million.
Robert Walters, which employs 3,800 staff across 28 countries, said the first-quarter performance was in line with market expectations.