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UK - Robert Walters' gross profit up but UK remains challenging

11 October 2011

Group gross profit (net fee income, NFI) was up by +13% from 42.5 million Pounds in Q3 2010 to 48 million Pounds in Q3 2011 at staffing group Robert Walters Plc (RWA:LSE). In constant currency, group gross profit was up by +8%.

An interim management statement for the three months ended 30 September 2011 (Q3) reveals that 75% of group gross profit is now generated from international business.

Gross profit generated in the UK was down by -4% from 12.6 million Pounds in Q3 2010 to 12.1 million Pounds in Q3 2011 due to challenging marketing conditions.

Gross profit generated in Continental Europe was up by +24% from 7.4 million Pounds in Q3 2010 to 9.2 million Pounds in Q3 2011. In constant currency, it was up by +18%.

There was strong growth in France and Germany and the group opened a second German office.

Gross profit generated in Asia Pacific, the group's largest division, was up by +18% from 21.5 million Pounds in Q3 2010 to 25.4 million Pounds in Q3 2011. In constant currency, it was up by +10%.

The group made further investments in Asia with the opening of its first office in Indonesia.

Gross profit generated in the Americas and South Africa was up by +44% from 900,000 Pounds in Q3 2010 to 1.3 million Pounds in Q3 2011. In constant currency, it was equally up by +44%.

The group has recently opened an office in São Paulo, its first office in South America.

Group headcount was up from 1,932 as at 30 June 2011 to 2,001 as at 30 September 2011.

The group's balance sheet remains strong, with net cash in excess of 5 million Pounds as at 30 September 2011, down from 10.7 million Pounds as at 30 June 2011.

Robert Walters, Chief Executive, commented "during the third quarter, we have increased group net fee income and achieved strong growth across our international businesses. Net fee income growth, whilst positive, has slowed as markets have become more challenging."

"Group headcount increased by +4% to 2,001, mainly in Asia and Continental Europe and year-to-date we have opened five offices, two in new countries. The group is in a robust position as a result of this strategy of international growth and diversification and we continue to invest in those markets where longer-term growth opportunities are strongest."

In early trading Robert Walters' shares were down by -3.38% to 200 Pence.

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