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.
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.