Source - Alliance News

Robert Walters PLC on Thursday said that ‘challenging macro-economic conditions’ had affected profit across all markets, but the group said it intends to ‘capitalise on growth opportunities’ in 2024.

The London-based recruitment firm said gross profit totalled £91.4 million for the quarter ended December 31, down 13% from £105.3 million a year before.

Quarterly profit for the Asia Pacific region, comprising 43% of the group’s gross profit, fell 15% to £13.6 million from £46.8 million a year ago. While the group said that performance was strong in Japan, its largest single market, this was undone by ‘muted’ conditions in Australia and a flat performance in south east Asia.

In Europe, Robert Walters’ second largest market, profit fell to £30.5 million from £32.8 million, while UK profit dropped 19% to £13.8 million.

The group said that pretax profit for the full year remains in line with market expectations at £20.5 million, more than halved from £55.6 million in 2022.

However, Robert Walters said that its balance sheet ‘remains strong’, with £79.8 million in net cash as of December 31.

Looking ahead, Chief Executive Officer Toby Fowlston said: ‘Despite the challenging macro-economic conditions, the group has delivered a resilient fourth quarter and 2023 profit before tax will be in-line with market expectations. We have a healthy blend of income streams, a highly diversified international footprint, and a strong global brand and balance sheet. I am very proud of our people and how we continue to work through this period of market uncertainty.

‘We remain confident in the long-term structural drivers that underpin demand for our services. Our ongoing focus on productivity, our management of costs, and commitment to retaining core consultant capacity, positions us well to capitalise on growth opportunities when conditions improve.’

Full year results for the group will be published on March 7.

Shares in Robert Walters were up 3.7% at 425.00 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

Copyright 2024 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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