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UK - Robert Walters' profit improves due to non-UK business

06 July 2011

Group net fee income (NFI) was up by +24% from 39.7 million Pounds in Q2 2010 to 49.3 million Pounds in Q2 2011 at staffing group Robert Walters Plc (RWA:LSE). In constant currency, group NFI was up by +21%.

A trading update for the second quarter ended 30 June 2011, published today, reveals that NFI in the UK was up by +5% from 11.6 million Pounds in Q2 2010 to 12.1 million Pounds in Q2 2011. The Company points out that NFI in the UK has grown against a difficult economic backdrop. Robert Walters’ UK business made a small operating profit in H1 2010 following a loss in H1 2009 so it will be interesting to see how UK revenues and profits are tracking when the Company announces its H1 2011 results on 4 August.

75% of NFI is now derived from outside the UK compared with 71% in Q2 2010.

In Europe, NFI was up by +35% from 7.8 million Pounds in Q2 2010 to 10.6 million Pounds in Q2 2011. In constant currency, European NFI was up by +31%.

The group registered particularly strong growth in France as well as in the newly established business in Germany.

In Asia Pacific, NFI was up by +28% from 19.5 million Pounds in Q2 2010 to 25.1 million Pounds in Q2 2011. In constant currency, Asia Pacific NFI was up by +25%.

In the Americas and South Africa, NFI was up by +82% from 0.8 million Pounds in Q2 2010 to 1.5 million Pounds in Q2 2011. In constant currency, it was up by +91%.

Group headcount was 1,932 at the end of Q2 2011 compared with 1,735 on 31 December 2010.

As at 30 June 2011, the group's net cash position remains in excess of 10 million Pounds compared with 12.9 million Pounds as at 30 June 2010.

Robert Walters, Chief Executive, commented "the group performed well across all regions during the second quarter and as a result net fee income for the half year was up by +23% year-on-year.  This has been largely driven by our international businesses, which now represent 75% of the group's net fee income."

"Our future investment plans reflect the group's ongoing commitment to expanding in markets offering the best opportunities for growth. Further office openings in Indonesia, Taiwan and Germany are planned during the second half of the year."

In early trading Robert Walters' shares were up by +2.99% to 310 Pence. Following the announcement, Altium Securities, upgraded the Company from hold to buy with a target price of 343 Pence although the shares have already risen by almost 60% over the past 12 months.

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