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Professional recruiter Robert Walters (RWA: LSE) today reported that revenue for the six months to 30 June 2013 was £288.8 million, an increase of +5% from £275 million for the same period last year. Profit for the six month period was £2.4 million, up +20% from £2.0 million a year ago.
CEO, Robert Walters commented: “The Group has delivered a solid and encouraging performance during the first half of the year with net fee income growing across all of the Group’s regions. The Group’s long-term strategy of geographic expansion and discipline diversification has created competitive strength and enable us to grow market share.”
“Two new offices were opened during the first quarter, Dubai and Ghent. However, as noted in the Group’s first quarter interim management statement, no further offices will be opened this year. Having opened 17 offices over the past three years, the Group is focused on maximising the return from this investment and increasing productivity within these new and exciting businesses,” he added.
Asia-Pacific continues to be the Group’s largest region, accounting for 48% of total net fee income. Revenue for the period was £133.9 million, a fall of -0.6% compared with net fee income of £134.7 million last year. Net fee income increased +3% in constant currency to £46.5 million from £45.9 million a year ago.
Despite the slowdown in the Perth and Brisbane offices, the Group’s Australian market share has grown. According to the company, the Group’s offices in Japan and Malaysia performed particularly well. Newer and smaller operations in Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia reportedly produced strong net income fee growth. The Group’s Singapore and Hong Kong businesses delivered solid first half year performances with the recent restructure in China reportedly beginning to show positive results.
Robert Walter’s home market of the United Kingdom accounts for 27% of Group net fee income. Revenue in the UK business was £105.1 million, up +12.5% from £93.4 million a year ago. Net fee income increased by +12% to £26.7 million, up from £23.9 million during the same period last year.
European operations accounted for 21% of net fee income. Revenue for the period was £46.1 million, up +4.8% from £44 million last year. Net fee income increased +2% in constant current to £20.9 million from £20.3 million, year-on-year.
France, produced a resilient performance and was able to increase market share despite the well-publicised backdrop of economic and political uncertainty. Redundancy costs of £500,000 were absorbed during the period. Germany delivered strong net fee income growth. Market conditions in the Benelux region improved with the opening of the new office in Ghent. Business in Ireland continues to perform well, however, elsewhere across the region, recruitment activity levels remain muted.
Revenue from ‘Other ‘International’ was £3.8 million, up +31% from £2.9 million during the first half of 2012. Net fee incomes, which accounts for 4% of total Group net fee incomes, increased +44% in constant currency to £3.7 million from £2.7 million a year ago.
Improved confidence in the United States underpinned a solid performance in the Group’s New York office, while the new business in San Francisco continued to deliver strong net fee income growth. Operations in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have returned to growth. South Africa continues to report strong net fee income growth. The Group opened its first office in the Middle East during this period, in Dubai.
Permanent recruitment now represents 70% of the Group’s recruitment net fee income, up from 69% last year. The Group has a blend of permanent, contract, and interim recruitment income streams, as well as its recruitment process outsourcing business, Resource Solutions. Revenue from the Resource Solutions during H1 2013 was £60.5 million, accounting for 21% of total Group revenue.
Robert Walters concluded: “The first half results are encouraging and we are focused on generating increased productivity from our existing businesses across the globe whilst continuing to carefully manage the Group’s cost base. Global market conditions are mixed and visibility is limited, however, we are seeing positive signs across some markets. The Group’s market leading international brand, diverse and robust blend of revenue streams and strong balance sheet, means that the Group is exceptionally well positioned to benefit from a sustained recovery.”
In trading today, the company’s share price rose +1.5% to £2.81, an increase of +57.35% compared with a year ago. Based on its share price, the company has a current market value of £212.98 million.