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Gross profit up 10% at global staffing firm Robert Walters

April 15, 2019

Robert Walters plc, a UK-based global staffing provider, reported gross profit rose 10% in constant currency during the first quarter, with growth in all regions.

The company, which has operations in the US, noted 72% of the group’s net fee income is now derived from outside of the UK. In the first quarter, Robert Walters opened three new offices in existing markets: Cologne, Nantes and Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard.

US operations are included in the firm’s “other international” category, which also includes Brazil, Canada, South Africa and the Middle East; gross profit in this division rose 22% in constant currency, with the Middle East and Canada delivering the strongest growth.

(£ millions) Q1 2019 Q1 2018 % change % change (in constant currency) Q1 2019 (US$ millions)
Asia Pacific £36.4 £32.6 12% 9% $47.4
UK £27.7 £25.2 10% 10% $36.1
Europe £26.2 £24.2 8% 10% $34.1
Other international £8.3 £6.5 28% 22% $10.8
Total £98.6 £88.5 11% 10% $128.4

“The group delivered a solid set of first quarter numbers, increasing net fee income by 10% year-on-year,” Chief Executive Robert Walters said. “All the group’s regions delivered growth in net fee income despite economic and political uncertainty in a number of markets, particularly the UK and France. Current trading is in line with market expectations for the full year.”

In Asia Pacific, Japan, Mainland China, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam delivered the strongest growth rates, all increasing gross profit in excess of 15%.

In the UK, the company noted good performance across both London and the region given ongoing Brexit-related uncertainty.

In Europe, Germany and Spain gross profit rose more than 25%. The company reported performance in France, Robert Walters’ largest market in the region, was affected by the “turbulent political backdrop” but remained positive with single-digit gross profit growth.

Robert Walters shares were down 2.68% at £580.00 at 11:35 a.m. Eastern time; the company had a market cap of $452.21 million, according to FT.com.

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