Robert Walters today announced its half-yearly financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2017.
The Group delivered a record performance in the first half benefiting from both our international footprint which now spans 28 countries, including many of the world’s fastest growing and emerging recruitment markets, and the breadth of recruitment solutions we provide to our clients.
Revenue was up 25% (17%*) to £562.7m (£529.4m*) (2016: £451.4m) and gross profit (net fee income) increased by 28% (18%*) to £164.5m (£151.4m*) (2016: £128.1m). Operating profit increased 62% (44%*) to £16.2m (£14.5m*) (2016: £10.1m) and profit before taxation increased by 39% (46%*) to £15.6m (£13.9m*) (2016: £11.2m). The Group has maintained a strong balance sheet with net cash of £18.4m as at 30 June 2017 (31 December 2016: £22.5m).
Permanent recruitment currently represents 69% (2016: 69%) of the Group’s recruitment net fee income. Group headcount now stands at 3,495 (30 June 2016: 2,902).
- Record first half performance with operating profit increasing by 62% (44%*) to £16.2m (2016: £10.1m) and profit before tax increasing by 39% (46%*) to £15.6m (2016: £11.2m).
- 71% of the Group’s net fee income derived from our international businesses.
- All regions delivered increases in both net fee income and operating profit.
- Asia Pacific net fee income up 25% (10%*) to £67.4m (£59.3m*) (2016: £54.0m) and operating profit up 22% (3%*) to £7.7m (£6.5m*) (2016: £6.4m).
- Strong performance in Asia across both established and emerging markets with Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam all delivering record performances.
- Good first half in Australia with growth strongest in Queensland and South Australia. Recent sponsorship of the British & Irish Lions further cemented our market-leading position in New Zealand.
- Resource Solutions won a number of new client deals across the region; requiring significant investment in upfront implementation costs.
- UK net fee income up 20% to £48.3m (2016: £40.2m) producing a substantial uplift in operating profit to £4.0m (2016: £1.8m).
- Activity levels strongest in London in financial services, commerce finance and technology.
- Broad-based growth across the UK regions with Manchester, Milton Keynes and St. Albans the standout performers.
- Resource Solutions performed strongly winning several new client deals and continued to benefit from the investment made in 2016.
- Europe net fee income up 34% (22%*) to £38.0m (£34.4m*) (2016: £28.2m) and operating profit more than doubled to £4.4m (£3.7m*) (2016: £2.1m).
- Strong growth across permanent, contract and interim recruitment.
- France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain all delivered record performances with the latter increasing net fee income in excess of 70%.
- Other International (North America, Brazil, the Middle East and South Africa) net fee income up 93% (67%*) to £10.9m (£9.4m*) (2016: £5.6m) producing an operating profit of £0.1m (£0.3m*) (2016: operating loss of £0.2m).
- Group headcount increased by 20% to 3,495 (30 June 2016: 2,902).
- Interim dividend increased by 20% to 2.75p per share (30 June 2016: 2.30p).
- 2.1m shares have been purchased and cancelled at an average price of £3.79 for £8.0m. A further 0.4m shares were purchased at an average price of £4.03 for £1.7m through the Group’s Employee Benefit Trust.
- Strong balance sheet with net cash of £18.4m as at 30 June 2017 (30 June 2016: £10.2m).
Robert Walters, Chief Executive, commented:
“The Group delivered a record performance in the first half increasing profit before tax by 39% (46%*) year-on-year. We continue to benefit from both our international footprint which now spans 28 countries, including many of the world’s fastest growing and emerging recruitment markets, and the breadth of recruitment solutions we provide to our clients.
“We enter the second half of the year with confidence that the Group’s platform for growth is strong and that we are well positioned to further capitalise on market opportunities as they arise.”
The Group will publish its half-year results for the six months ended 30 June 2017 on 26 July 2017.