26 July 2018

Half-yearly financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2018

Record profits, dividend up 45%

Yellow stair alcove

Robert Walters plc, the leading international recruitment group, today announces its half-yearly financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2018.

“The Group delivered record first half profits, in line with recently increased market expectations, growing profit before tax by 32% (35%*) year-on-year. Growth was strong and broad-based across all regions and our permanent, contract, interim and recruitment process outsourcing revenue streams."

“We enter the second half of 2018 with confidence and we have increased the interim dividend by 45%. The Group’s platform for growth continues to be strong, across both emerging and well-established markets and disciplines, and we are well positioned to further capitalise on market opportunities as they arise.”

Robert Walters, Chief Executive

Financial and operational highlights

  H1 2018 H1 2017  % change  % change (constant currency*)
Revenue £625.9m £562.7m 11% 13%
Gross profit (net fee income) £188.6m £164.5m 15% 17%
Operating profit £20.7m £16.2m  28% 30%
Profit before taxation £20.6m £15.6m 32% 35%
Basic earnings per share 21.2p 16.3p 30% n/a
Interim dividend per share 4.0p 2.75p 45% n/a

* Constant currency is calculated by applying prior period exchange rates to local currency results for the current and prior periods.

  • Record first half performance with operating profit increasing by 28% (30%*) to £20.7m (2017: £16.2m) and profit before tax increasing by 32% (35%*) to £20.6m (2017: £15.6m).
  • 72% of the Group’s net fee income derived from our international businesses (2017: 71%).
  • All regions delivered increases in both net fee income and operating profit.
  • Strong activity levels across permanent, contract, interim and recruitment process outsourcing.
  • Asia Pacific net fee income up 8% (15%*) to £73.1m (£77.3m*) (2017: £67.4m) and operating profit up 19% (28%*) to £9.2m (£9.9m*) (2017: £7.7m).
    • Strong performance across both emerging and well-established markets.
    • Japan, the Group’s largest business in the region grew operating profit in excess of 25%*, whilst Indonesia and Vietnam more than doubled profits.
    • Good first half in Australia with Victoria, Queensland and South Australia delivering the highest rates of growth.
    • Resource Solutions continued to grow its client portfolio across the region.
  • UK net fee income up 9% to £52.6m (2017: £48.3m) producing an uplift in operating profit to £4.2m (2017: £4.0m).
    • Good growth across several locations and disciplines.
    • Activity levels were strongest across the technology, legal and commerce finance disciplines. Financial Services more subdued against tough year-on-year comparatives.
    • New office opened in Leeds to further grow regional UK footprint.
    • Resource Solutions continued to grow net fee income and successfully expanded its service offering across a number of key client accounts.
  • Europe net fee income up 29% (26%*) to £48.9m (£48.0m*) (2017: £38.0m) and operating profit up 62% (57%*) to £7.1m (£6.9m*) (2017: £4.4m).
    • Excellent first half performance across the whole region and permanent, contract and interim recruitment.
    • Record results delivered by seven out of eight of the region’s markets with France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland producing the highest rates of growth.
    • New office opened in Hamburg, our third in Germany, to further capitalise on opportunities for growth in this high potential market.
  • Other International (North America, Brazil, the Middle East and South Africa) net fee income up 29% (40%*) to £14.0m (£15.3m*) (2017: £10.9m) producing an operating profit of £0.2m (£0.1m*) (2017: £0.1m).
    • Strong first half performance particularly across North America and the Middle East.
  • Group headcount increased by 14% to 3,996 (30 June 2017: 3,495).
  • Strong balance sheet with net cash of £24.8m as at 30 June 2018 (30 June 2017: £18.4m).

The Company will publish an interim management statement for the third quarter ending 30 September 2018 on 9 October 2018.

– Ends –

 

For investor information visit our websitehttp://investors.robertwalters.com/

Further information

Robert Walters plc                         +44 20 7379 3333

Robert Walters, Chief Executive
Alan Bannatyne, Chief Financial Officer

Newgate Communications             +44 20 7680 6550

Emma Kane
Charlotte Coulson

Forward looking statements

This announcement contains certain forward-looking statements. These statements are made by the directors in good faith based on the information available to them at the time of their approval of this announcement and such statements should be treated with caution due to the inherent uncertainties, including both economic and business risk factors, underlying any such forward-looking information.