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UK — Robert Walters makes an operating loss

07 October 2009

Robert Walters plc (RWA:LSE), the specialist recruitment consultancy today announces interim results for the first six months of 2009.

Revenue decreased by 17% from 169.8 million Pounds in the first six months of 2008 to 141.7 million Pounds in the same period of 2009. Gross profit (net fee income) fell by 30% from 71.7 million Pounds in 2008 to 50 million Pounds in 2009.

Operating losses were -2.3 million Pounds compared to an operating profit in 2008 of 10.6 million Pounds.
Management says in a statement "Permanent business across the globe suffered a significant decline in net fee income whilst contract business, in which the Group has invested heavily over the last three years, proved to be more resilient. Contract now represents 41% of the Group’s recruitment net fee income (2008: 32%).
Management is comfortable that the headcount has reached an appropriate level given the current trading activity of the Group and has no plans to withdraw from any of the markets in which they operate.

United Kingdom (33% of net fee income) Revenue was 55.7 million Pounds (2008: 68.4 million Pounds) and net fee income decreased by 29% to 16.7 million Pounds (2008: 23.4 million Pounds) producing an operating loss of 0.8 million Pounds (2008: profit of 0.6 million Pounds).

Europe (27% of net fee income) Revenue was 31.1 million Pounds (2008: 31.5 million Pounds) and net fee income decreased by 21% to 13.4 million Pounds (2008: 16.9 million Pounds) producing an operating loss of 0.7 million Pounds (2008: profit of 2.6 million Pounds)."

They went on to say “Europe was the last region to be affected by the downturn and although it held up relatively well during the first half, net fee income still deteriorated over the period. France proved to be the most resilient market, principally due to the performance of our Walters Interim business. During the first half a second Walters Interim office in Belgium and an office in Zurich was opened….In Ireland and Spain, market conditions remain extremely difficult and show no signs of improvement."

Group strategy is to ride out this downturn, whilst maintaining a robust infrastructure to take full advantage of an upturn in economic conditions.

In early trading Robert Walter's shares were unchanged at 191.25 Pence.



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