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UK — Robert Walters results ahead of expectations

04 March 2010
 

Robert Walters Plc (RWA:LSE), the staffing and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) group, today announces preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2009. Revenues decreased by -11% from 337.3 million Pounds in 2008 to 300.4 million Pounds in 2009.

Net fee income fell by -25% from 138.6 million Pounds in 2008 to 104.4 million Pounds in 2009. Net fee income in constant currency fell by -31%. Net fee income generated outside the UK was up by one percentage point from 67% in 2008 to 68% in 2009.

Operating profit fell from 18.6 million Pounds in 2008 to 1.6 million Pounds in 2009. Profit before tax fell from 18.2 million Pounds in 2008 to 1.3 million Pounds in 2009.

In the UK (32% of net fee income) revenues fell from 133.2 million Pounds in 2008 to 116.5 million Pounds in 2009. The group produced an operating loss in the UK of 0.8 million Pounds in 2009 compared to an operating profit of 1.9 million Pounds in 2008.

In Continental Europe (25% of net fee income) revenues fell from 64.9 million Pounds in 2008 to 59.4 million Pounds in 2009. The Group produced an operating loss in the region of 0.7 million Pounds in 2009 compared to an operating profit of 4.5 million Pounds in 2008.

Robert Walters's strongest region was Asia-Pacific (41% of net fee income) where revenues were down from 137.1 million Pounds in 2008 to 122.5 million Pounds in 2009. The Group produced an operating profit in the region of 3.3 million Pounds compared to 12.3 million Pounds in 2008.

Robert Walters, Chief Executive, commented "during the year, we controlled our costs and managed our cash in the face of a global downturn that was unprecedented. In June we took the decision not to reduce headcount any further, nor to withdraw from any of our markets. This enabled us to maintain our strong international presence and we are now well positioned to take advantage of any improvements in trading conditions."

"We have emerged from last year as a stronger business. We are selectively hiring, we are investing in those regions where growth prospects are most evident and we are actively assessing opportunities to grow our coverage in existing markets."

Robert Walters's Chairman, Philip Aiken, said "our strategy has been to streamline our business through sensible cost reductions and strong cash management. We have also taken steps to ensure that we retain the best talent."

"Most significantly though, the Group has successfully maintained its global presence and has not withdrawn from any markets in which it operates. As one of the leading global recruiters, with an internationally recognised brand, this has enabled the Group to grow its market share. We are now well placed to capitalise further as the global economy recovers."

"The Group will continue to invest in areas where it sees the most opportunity. We have identified Latin America as a key new market and will be opening an office in Sao Paulo. We will also be building on our established positions in Asia and Europe."

In early trading Robert Walters's shares were down by 0.95% to 209 Pence.

 

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