Recruiter Robert Walters (RWA) looks set for another double digit dividend hike alongside full year results after solid trading in the fourth quarter.

Chief executive Robert Walters, speaking to Shares from Sydney, Australia, says performance in the company's international units helped offset a weaker UK result.

A full-year dividend increase in the region of 18%, in line with that proposed at interim results, now looks on the cards.

Options are also being considered for further special distributions or share buybacks as net cash on Walters’ balance sheet hits £17.7 million.

RWA - Comparison Line Chart (Actual Values)

‘The interim dividend was raised 18% and, while we’ve not decided on the full year pay-out yet, it will probably be around the same [kind of increase],’ says chief financial officer Alan Bannatyne.

‘We will also be looking to return extra cash to shareholders at some point. Historically we’ve done this through share buybacks though there is some debate about whether shareholders would prefer special dividends.

'We're not leaning in favour of either direction at the moment.'

Robert Walters' net fee income (NFI) at constant currencies, a key measure of performance for recruitment firms, increased 10% year-on-year in the fourth quarter.

NFI growth was 12% in the 12 months to 31 December 2015.

Pre-tax profit is forecast at £22.3 million in 2015 and £26.3 million for 2016, according broker estimates.

CEO Walters says a slow down in the UK recruitment market, which grew 5% in the fourth quarter, down from 13% in the third quarter, was most apparent in financial services.

News of a cooling UK recruitment hurt rivals Hays (HAS) and Michael Page International (MPI) which shed 2.6% and 2.1% respectively in early trading. Robert Walters trades 0.9% higher at 365.13p.

Issue Date: 11 Jan 2016